I was originally an alternate to receive the scholarship and was very excited and surprised when I did receive it. I moved into an apartment in Heiligenstadt and rode the U4 south to the university every day. The scholarship really had an impact on my life in many ways. Of course, my German improved a great deal even if I did have to sometimes translate the Austrian dialect into high German so that I could understand it in the beginning and I was even able to somewhat successfully imitate the wienerisch dialect. I also met some amazing Austrian friends who I have stayed in touch with throughout the years.
My best friend, Wilfried, was the best man at my wedding years later and I also attended his wedding in his home town of Waidhofen an der Ybbs. I have now been teaching German in Georgia for 22 years and have been very successful in passing my love for the German language and the Austrian Culture on to my students. I was the first teacher in the western hemisphere to begin teaching German via Youtube and now I teach as well through my Facebook page which currently has 75,000 members all around the world. I have published several books including a book of poems in German. All of this would not have been possible without this important time that I spent in Austria.
Patrick Wallace participated in the Fulbright program as an US Fulbright Student of German at the University of Vienna, in 1994–95. Photo courtesy of Patrick Wallace.