Foreign Fulbright

Fulbright Crossing Paths

February 14, 2017

Being a Fulbrighter will always be an important part of my life. The opportunity to study and immerse myself in a culture abroad opens your horizons and makes you grow in every way. Even still, I never imagined that Fulbright would have an impact on my life in an even more profound way. I am from El Salvador, and in 2011, I was awarded a Fulbright grant to pursue a master’s in tourism at the University of Florida. Upon graduating, I returned to El Salvador, but soon after, I was offered a job with an international organization based in Washington, DC.

During my Fulbright, I was involved in Fulbright-specific networking opportunities such as gateway orientations, enrichment seminars and the Fulbright Association Chapter events. I made a lot of friends through these events and I have visited them both in the United States and around the world whenever I have the chance.

New to the DC area, I joined the Fulbright Association National Capital Area Chapter. In November 2014, I attended one of the chapter events: an open house reception at the Goethe-Institut. There is where I met Martin. Martin was at that time a visiting researcher on a Fulbright grant from Denmark, doing a one-year research project at the National Institutes of Health. During our first conversation, I recognized the same spark in his eyes when we talked about our dreams, passions and careers. Despite being from very different countries and cultures that speak different languages, have different professional opportunities and different social norms, we found in each other a partner with the same values, goals and dreams.

Getting to know Martin was so easy. He is a genuine, good-hearted person, who is very close to his family – just like I am. Our relationship grew day-by-day in Washington, but unfortunately, after one year of dating, we had to say goodbye because he completed his research and returned to Denmark to finish his MD. We continued to engage in a long distance relationship, seeing each other at every opportunity that we could take some time off. Taking transatlantic flights and managing a six hour time difference became our new norm.

We have been dating now for more than two years and our dream is to bring together our professional and personal lives very soon. I am thankful to Fulbright because it gave me the opportunity to meet Martin. I cannot imagine another possible way that our paths would have crossed; Martin being a doctor from Denmark, and me being an economist from El Salvador. We do not know what the future will bring for us, but so far, life has brought beautiful and challenging surprises. All you have to do is to be open and willing to take risks.

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  • Reply Tanja February 15, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    This is a lovely story. My fiance and I are both “Fulbrighters” and bonded quickly over our shared experiences. (He is American and did his Fulbright in Germany, I am from Germany and spent my Fulbright year in Iowa.) I wish this article would acknowledge the often dark side of a Fulbright grantee meeting their future partner due to Fulbright – because of J1 requirements, these couples often have to separate and change around their plans to be together or – as here – be separated for prolonged periods.

    • Reply Nikki February 15, 2017 at 6:16 pm

      Great story. @Tanja – I am sure many people meet during their Fulbright. The
      commitment to your country is first. If love was the exception, a lot of Fulbrighters
      would never return to their countries for two years. I do believe that you can opt
      to not return, but of course that route is expensive and complicated. True love waits
      and endures.

  • Reply Fred February 16, 2017 at 1:13 am

    Hello sir/madam,

    Do you offer undergraduate course grants?

    I would like if given opportunity to study in German.

    My passion is environment and climate change and geography.

  • Reply Pornsawan Brawn February 16, 2017 at 8:44 am

    What a lovely story. Wishing you all the very best in your relationship.

  • Reply Vesselee Flomo February 16, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Hi, i like this programe i want join& want study in the U.S, What should i do to get the opportunity?

    • Reply Schuyler February 16, 2017 at 9:53 pm

      Hi Vesselee,

      To learn more about the Fulbright Program, how to apply and the requirements, please visit Please note that you will need to apply through the country in which you hold citizenship. Good luck!

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  • Reply Diana Madrid August 12, 2020 at 11:55 am

    I am about to embark on a Fulbright myself (Master’s) 🙂 I am from Honduras and my boyfriend lives in Germany. We are already doing long distance, and normally we believed that me moving to the US would help us meet more frequently. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we have been separated all year and moving to the US is probably not going to make things any easier, as travel between US and Europe is still banned.

    Hope and love is all we have!
    Wish you the best,

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