Coming from a family of nine children a Fulbright grant allowed me to study in the U.S. as an undergraduate in 1981. It was not only intellectually rewarding, but set the frame for understanding and appreciating the country as well as the values and diversity of the American people and society. I have returned to Austria and now work as an economist at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. In a global world the experience and lessons afforded by Senator Fulbright's simple scheme have proven invaluable many many times.
Fulbright offers opportunities so rich and decisive in academic and personal terms that depriving today's bright young people of this experience would unnecessarily limit their horizon at a time when we most need it to open.
Rudolf Lichtmannegger was an Austrian Fulbright Student at Washington and Lee University, Virginia from 1981-82. He has been the deputy head of the Economic Policy Department of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber since 2009. Photo courtesy of Rudolf Lichtmannegger.