Being a Fulbrighter was a faraway dream until I made it. The first time I heard about the scholarship was thanks to the US Embassy Paraguay in 2006 during my sophomore year of college when they were advertising about building the future Fulbright programs and were preparing future candidates for the Fulbright Scholarship. Since then, I wanted to be a Fulbrighter and later applied for the scholarship to enhance my English skills and knowledge.
When I finished college and earned some professional experiences, I decided to apply to the Scholarship in 2016. Coincidently, the masters program that I really wanted was the same school in Rochester, NY where my grandparents lived and study during the 1960s. Being a Fulbright alumni was my biggest dream come true.
I became a part of the change in Paraguayan society and was able to attend my dream school: Rochester Institute of Technology, and attended the program that I believe complemented my academic and professional profile to help me grow personally and professionally while networking with incredible people. Also, I was able to attend one of the best MFA Industrial Design Programs in the US, giving me the opportunity to work closely in product design research and development.
Lastly, the Fulbright Program allowed me to volunteer and work with two Fulbright gateway orientation week at RIT in 2018 and 2019, helping and motivating new incoming Fulbrighters like me to the US. Moreover, I influenced an RIT Faculty to become a Fulbright Faculty Visitor Specialist to come to Paraguay and work on a project on how industrial design strategies can help to enhance artisans work and products and she got selected for the Fulbright program 2021 to come and work here in Paraguay
Before I left for my program in 2017, a Paraguayan Fulbright once said to me, “once a Fulbright, always a Fulbright.” It is indeed an incredible and unique experience, with amazing challenges that help you connect with amazing professionals from different cultures and fields while giving back to society.
Andrea Gonzalez Esteche – Fulbright to New York USA, 2017