Exchange isn’t a Year in your Life, it is a Life in a Year
For 75 years, we have believed that by living and learning together with people of different cultures we can shape a more positive vision for our communities and our world. Our mission is vital: to forge lasting connections, counter misunderstandings, and help people and nations work together toward common goals. Through our unique international educational and cultural exchange programs, Fulbright’s diverse and dynamic network of scholars, alumni and global partners fosters mutual understanding between the United States and partner nations, shares knowledge across communities, and improves lives around the world. One connection at a time, Fulbright brings people closer together and moves nations closer to a more peaceful world.
Fulbright Greece is involved in a number of exciting activities aimed at advancing the interests of the Foundation and all of our programs through the organization of and/or participation in a public lectures, training sessions and workshops, and other outreach events. Fulbright Greece encourages all of our grantees to stay in touch and involved.
Here is an Overview of Activities typically happening each year:
Every June, Greek Fulbright Grantees come together at the Fulbright office for PDO sessions per program category, aimed at providing practical information as they prepare for their time as a student, artist, researcher, lecturer, or teacher in the U.S. This one-day event concludes with a formal reception - the Annual Awards Ceremony – at the U.S. Ambassador's residence. During the Pre-Departure Orientation presentations, Fulbright and U.S. Embassy staff members explain the "basics" (from theory to practice) of grant administration, visa interviews, U.S. point of entry procedures, arrival procedures, cultural adjustment, and mandatory Fulbright reports. Current U.S. Fulbright Grantees and Greek Fulbright Alumni are invited to give personal advice and speak about the highlights of their Fulbright experiences including Gateway Orientations and Enrichment Seminars. Grantees can participate freely during the Q&A at the end of the sessions. During the global pandemic, all PDO sessions will be held online.
Support on the Ground
Once you arrive in the U.S., you will be assigned an IIE Student Support Officer (for Graduate Students and Artists) or a IIE/CIES Program Officer (for Visiting Scholars). Your Officer will be your first point of contact during your Fulbright grant period and assist you in getting settled, accessing enrichment activities, extending your visa (if necessary), answering tax questions and exploring internships or work experience opportunities. You will also maintain communication with the Fulbright Foundation throughout your grant period.
Extreme weather conditions and the event of surprise terrorist attacks over the last years have made the need for emergency planning all the more urgent. While you are in the United States, IIE is your main contact. The IIE’s advising team will reach out to students and scholars who may be impacted by an emergency to ensure the safety of each participant. The list of participants is then shared with colleagues in the Client Engagement teams. An update is also shared with ECA and with the Fulbright Foundation. The advising team continues to follow-up with participants, providing any updates and status changes to the Client Engagement team, ECA and the Foundation. A plan of action is developed between these entities if and when the need arises.
Interim and Final Grant Reports
The Foundation will get in contact with the Graduate Students during the month of January and again during the month of June regarding your interim and final grant reports respectively. The interim report will ask you to write a letter of appreciation and to give us a short update on your progress, whereas the final grant report will include some questions on your immediate plans and a call to share your Fulbright experience with the Foundation and possibly future candidates through a brief text with reflections on your first academic year. Visiting Research Students, Visiting Scholars, Artists and Special Program participants such as SUSI and Salzburg participants will be asked to visit the office for a debriefing session within a month of completion of their respective programs and to submit a final grant report. Donor appreciation letters will be assigned on an individual basis. All reports/letters are kept in the Foundation's archive for future reference.
Fulbright Greece encourages all grantees to submit or collect stories, video clips and photographs to document their stay and to share their experience with current and future candidates. We will channel these efforts, called Grantees Speak and Alumni Speak, into an apprehensive overview of past and current impressions. The Foundation will take it for granted that any documentation, including quotes, can be used for public dissemination to promote the Fulbright programs and objectives (website, social media¸ videos) unless otherwise stated. Please visit the Fulbright website for updates, sign up for the Newsletter, like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter and YouTube. Whether you are a student, a researcher, an artist, or a teacher, whether you stay for 5 weeks, 5 months or 5 years, we would very much like to hear from you!
Once you conclude your Fulbright grant it is important you get in touch with the Fulbright Foundation so we can update your file, and assist you in networking. We encourage you to maintain contact with the Fulbright Foundation in Greece in the years to come and look forward to seeing you at our alumni events both in Greece and in the United States. We will regularly keep you informed of the Foundation's activities and request your support and participation at events such as recruiting, screening and orienting future students and researchers. We also look forward to receiving your news for the Foundation's newsletter – alumni highlights on your academic and professional development.
Fulbright Greece Alumni Network
The Fulbright Alumni Association of Greek Scholars, founded in 1978, was among the first to be established internationally. There are two chapters, one in Athens and one in Thessaloniki. The Association organizes social functions and other events that allow its members to pursue the Foundation's objectives in an informal, yet effective way and to maintain a network that keeps alumni together and active. Furthermore, the Fulbright Foundation is first and foremost an Educational Exchange Program. As a returning Fulbright grantee, you are an important resource for other academics and professionals who may want to learn about your experience studying, researching and/or lecturing abroad. In addition, every year, U.S. grantees visit Greece with comparable purposes of research and study. Fulbright would be happy to identify opportunities to share your experiences, as a visitor and as a host, on a professional and on a friendly level. The Foundation can also assist you in communicating your findings whilst in the U.S. throughout Greece and beyond.
Global Alumni Network
You are invited to join the International Exchange Alumni (IEA) at https://alumni.state.gov, an online global community exclusively for all past and current participants of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs managed by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. With IEA, you will have access to other grant opportunities, research databases, and professional development resources, along with the ability to network with more than 100,000 alumni around the world and to read about what other alumni are doing in their communities. Fulbright Students and Scholars are eligible to join this website upon starting the program. Due to the varied start dates for each Fulbrighter, it may take up to several months for each account to be verified as participant data becomes available.
Following your grant, the Institute of International Education (IIE) may invite you to participate in the Fulbright Alumni Impact Survey.
The purpose of the Fulbright Alumni Impact Survey is to enable post-grant, cross-programmatic comparisons and offer an in-depth, holistic overview of the Fulbright Program experience from the vantage point of alumni who are one-year out from completing their program.
The survey’s chief objectives include: measuring program participants’ satisfaction; participants’ academic, research or professional outcomes; changes in participant behavior as a result of their grant experiences; and, the social and cultural impact Fulbrighters have on their home communities, one year following the end date of their respective grants.
The Fulbright Alumni Impact Survey also assesses both the frequency and types of communication participants have had with other Fulbrighters, professors, or colleagues in the host country; the degree of engagement in alumni activities and community service in their home country (or current country of residence), as a result of their grant experiences; and, their interest in becoming involved in Fulbright mentoring and recruiting.
We strongly encourage you to participate in the survey since results help us illustrate the Fulbright Program’s mission and value to program partners and with diverse audiences.
Note: depending on the grant or program category and the project start date, not all opportunities detailed above may be offered.