I received my degree in Reformation History at the University of California, Riverside in December of 2013 and completed my dissertation research with the help of a 2011–12 Fulbright-Mach Research Grant to Vienna, Austria. There I made lasting friendships and thoroughly immersed myself in the customs and habits of Viennese life. The opportunities provided by the Fulbright Grant were immense and key to the establishment of my academic success as well as my travel and research in Austria.
As a proponent of the Fulbright, I continue to encourage students to apply to the program since research, for the historian, is a never-ending endeavor, and one that the Fulbright has been a wonderful partner in accomplishing. In particular, without the Fulbright I would not have been able to find the records and archival work that I uncovered. Looking at records through Google Docs or online archives is not as helpful to the researcher as actually being there. Even though I had an idea of what to look for from the online sources, it was not until I got to the archives that I found extensive resources.
The Fulbright is a unique and life-changing experience with considerable upside. The Fulbright in Austria is a program that features the brightest America has to offer with the wonders and charm of the Austrian people. It is an important and relevant academic endeavor and one I am proud to endorse.
Dr. Benjamin Esswein received his degree in reformation history at the University of California, Riverside in December of 2013 and completed his dissertation research with the help of a 2011–2012 Fulbright-Mach Research Grant to Vienna, Austria. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Esswein.