FULBRIGHT AT 60 - GALA EVENT AT THE AUSTRIAN EMBASSY - The 60th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program in Austria

bridges vol. 27, October 2010 / Noteworthy Information

On Tuesday, October 12, 2010, the Office of Science and Technology and the Embassy of Austria in Washington, D.C. in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State, the Austrian-American Educational Commission in Vienna, the Institute of International Education, New York, and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, held a gala reception at the Austrian Embassy celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright Program in Austria. After a welcome by H.E. Christian Prosl, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria, opening remarks were delivered by Alina L. Romanowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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"The 60th anniversary of the Austrian-American Fulbright Program is a significant milestone because it underscores the strength of our longstanding bilateral relationship and highlights the legacy of cross-cultural understanding we continue to build."
Alina Romanowski
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs,
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

On the occasion, the Austrian-American Educational Commission (Fulbright Commission) in Vienna, Austria, presented a screening of Georg Steinböck's documentary Fulbright at Sixty: The Austrian-American Fulbright Program, 1950-2010 that evening. The documentary was commissioned by the Austrian-American Educational Commission and directed by Georg Steinböck. The forty-five minute documentary in English and German with English subtitles is based on interviews with different generations of Austrian Fulbrighters from the 1950s to the present and recent U.S. grantees, as well as historical footage, photos, and archival material. It provides an overview of the origins and objectives of the Fulbright program and allows Fulbright grantees tell the story of the Austrian-American program in their own words.

The screening of the documentary was followed by closing remarks delivered Lonnie R. Johnson, Executive Director of the Austrian-American Educational Commission in Vienna, and and a vin d'honneur.

"A Marshall Plan for the Mind"
Dr. Christian Prosl
Ambassador of Austria to the United States

In 1950, Austria was the thirteenth of 50 binational Fulbright commissions that have been established to date to manage the Fulbright Program. In 105 countries, the Fulbright Program is managed by the Public Affairs Sections of U.S. embassies in the same binational spirit. Over 294,000 Fulbrighters - 183,000 "incoming" international students and scholars and 111,000 "outgoing" Americans - have participated in the Fulbright Program since its inception in 1946.  Among the alumni of the Austrian-American Fulbright Program are over 3,400 Austrians and 2,000 Americans.

The five most popular disciplines for U.S. Fulbrighters going to Austria are German Language and Austrian Literature, Music Performance and Musicology, History, Theater and Drama, as well as Political Science and International Relations. Austrian Fulbrighters going to the U.S., on the other hand, mostly focus on English Language, American Literature, American Studies, Natural Sciences and Engineering, Business and Economics, Law, and Medicine and Public Health.

from left to right: Lonnie Johnson, Alina Romanowski, Ambassador Christian Prosl

Since 1950, the Fulbright Commission in Vienna spend over € 39,000,000 on educational and cultural exchange programs. {/access}