There are too many Fulbright memories to share, but one that stands out during my year teaching English was meeting the King of Spain. In 2014, the Fulbright program won the Prince of Asturias award (currently the Princess of Asturias award) for International Cooperation. A raffle was held for a select 20 Fulbrighters to attend. My name was chosen and soon we took a bus from Madrid to Asturias to watch the award ceremony. Here, I not only developed bonds with my fellow Fulbrighters (since this took place early on during my grant year), but I also got a taste of Asturian culture. We did a food and cider tasting and toured the city of Oviedo. The night of the ceremony, we watched it projected in a building next door to the actual ceremony and then attended a reception. At one point in the night, King Felipe VI entered the room and I shook his hand. Starstruck, I didn’t know what to say other than “Gracias” a few times in a row. The moment was brief but demonstrated that, in fact, Fulbright and “international cooperation” are inextricably linked.
Sophie Amado – Fulbright ETA to Spain 2014