«And so their journey begins…This is the time of the year when we gather the American cohort to the annual Fulbright US Grantees Orientation Meeting and I’m so happy to, once again, welcome our grantees and get to meet them in person, after an intense virtual work over the past months. We’ve had two days of orientation packed with informative and thought-provoking sessions, led by Portuguese and US alumni, where we discussed topics such as diversity and cultural identity, community engagement and volunteering opportunities, managing expectations, mental health and wellness abroad. A special word of gratitude to FLAD – The Luso-American Development Foundation for so graciously hosting us in their beautiful home.

As their journey begins, my best wishes to each and every one of our US grantees, I sincerely hope they have an unforgettable and life-changing experience in Portugal.».

Dora Reis Arenga, US Program Manager

Thank you to Diogo Magalhães e Silva, Joana Bordalo, and Tatiana Morais for their contributions on exchanging connections and community engagement. Your feedback and recommendations were much appreciated.


We were also able to hear from Host Institutions sharing welcome strategies. Thank you to David Callahan (University of Aveiro), Emir Sirage (Air Centre), Maria das Dores Guerreiro (ISCTE-IUL), and Mark Daubney (Polytechnic of Leiria). We have learned so much from your thoughtful tips and advice, thank you!

A panel on Perspectives on Cultural Identity with American alumni Brooke SheldonGenesis Garcia and Miguel Moniz made us recognize how cultural awareness enhances communication and interpersonal skills. Thank you for your insights!

Helena Marujo e Kátia Almeida, Portuguese alumni, helped us to understand why you need to do something you love every day. And not only for short-term happiness but also for our mental and emotional well-being – so many important lessons. Obrigada!

From our Partner Institutions, Obrigada! a Amélia Polónia (FCT), Bruno Teixeira (GRA), Elsa Henriques (FLAD) and Rui Azevedo (Camões I.P.) for their contributions regarding Higher Education and Research Panorama in Portugal.

And finally, we could not thank enough to Pedro Nuno Teixeira, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Fulbrighter himself, for the closing remarks – we all got “jealous” of what comes ahead for this new cohort of US Fulbrighters.

Check out the Orientation photo album on the Commission’s flickr, https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjA9Goc.