The Southeast Asia and Pacific Fulbright Orientation brought together all Fulbrighters that were to be placed in Southeast Asia and Pacific. There were roughly 180 Fulbrighters present for this orientation, and with great enthusiasm we heard about the Fulbright program, what to expect in Southeast Asia and we were introduced to key individuals involved with the Fulbright Program. This Orientation gave all Fulbrighters in Southeast Asia the opportunity to connect over interests, placements and cultures. In addition, I was able to meet and connect with the individuals in the Malaysia Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship program. Overall, I was immensely moved and impressed by the individuals I knew I would have the opportunity to connect with in Malaysia in 2012.
If I learned anything, it is that there is not one Fulbright mold or one way to describe a Fulbrighter. Fulbrighters come from a unique array of backgrounds, experiences and positions. This aspect of Fulbright allows Fulbrighters as a whole to have the greatest impact of the countries they go to.
Fulbrighters come from many different states, different religions, different races, different backgrounds, different types of universities and colleges, different kinds of home environments, different kinds of family, different goals and different experiences. But these differences only engage more conversation and more discovery. And, after all our differences, we do have one thing in common; we strive to seek a better understanding of a new culture while desiring to engage cultural exchange.