My time in Austria was exceptional and I have returned every year. I have many friends there and regularly do business there.
More importantly, while in Vienna I met the woman who later became my wife. She happened to be a native German speaker but from the German speaking part of France. Together we have lived in Austria, Germany and France (where we moved in 1985).
While I was in Austria I learned of recent changes in US federal law allowing Americans abroad to vote and I voted in my first presidential election from Austria. Years later I am deeply involved in the US political scene and was even a member of the Democratic National Committee representing Democrats Abroad.
I would never have met her, never have worked for American companies overseas, and never have become active in US politics.
And of course over the years I have met many fellow Fulbrighters -- everyone of them deeply devoted to the Fulbright Program and all that it has done for us.
Joseph Smallhoover is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in German and literature. He taught at the Theresianische Akademie in Vienna as a US Teaching Assistant in 1976–77.