Before coming to Austria, I was both nervous and excited. However, once I stepped off the plane, I realized that this was it: I was finally here, and my hard work had paid off. Of course, the hard work was only just starting.
One of the best memories I have from my time with Fulbright was during the ball season and all of the wonderful things that we got to do together. Fulbright Austria paid for us to take some ballroom dancing classes so that we wouldn't be totally hopeless at the ball. My friend Abby and I were partnered together, and although we were some of the worst in the class (mainly due to my two left feet), we had some of the most fun. On the night of the TU Ball, we had forgotten most of our lessons, but instead found ourselves in the folk-dancing room, where we danced the night away. We showed off the only dance that we did remember how to do—the Lindy Hop— to Fulbrighters from around Europe at the annual Fulbright Berlin Seminar. And boy, were those Spanish Fulbrighters jealous of our dance skills!
Without the Fulbright Program, I never would have ended up applying to the Central European University, where I am currently working towards a master's in international relations. I am truly thankful for the opportunities that Fulbright provided for us and for the experience of living in Austria and being able to meet students and scholars from around the world.
Although I finished my time with Fulbright Austria in 2018 and now live in Budapest, I talk to the friends whom I met while I was a Fulbright Austria program participant nearly daily. We share opportunities, advice, and life updates with each other, and whenever any of us are physically in the same place, we always try to meet up for a coffee or a drink. The friendships and memories I made during my time with Fulbright Austria will always be some of the sweetest that I have.