“I was a financial analyst three years out of College with a penchant for economics, European Integration and Fado. My wish was to run away and indulge in a fantasy world of social sciences, Bacalhau and the cosmic struggle between Humankind and Lisbon’s Number 28 trolley. I had a vision, and the Fulbright Scholarship is the tool through which that vision became reality.

My work in Portugal focuses on understanding the challenges that small nations face under strong globalization forces. Portugal’s membership in the European Union, along with its size, location and strong cultural identity, makes it the perfect candidate for this type of research. My program includes economic research at the Ministry of Finance and socio-political research through a series of interviews with Portuguese leaders and academics.

Five months into my stay, I am deep into the research program that I set up at the Portuguese Ministry of Finance. There, I am studying aspects of Portugal’s adhesion to the Euro, including economic liberalization, convergence and financial sector modernization. I am currently constructing my socio-political research program. My goal is to engage a wide variety of Portuguese leaders – academics, politicians, and economists – in order to understand the Portuguese view of integration. Despite the benefits of economic integration with Europe, larger questions of cultural identity, geo-political affiliation and national interest often lie beyond statistical analysis. This interview process will complement my economic understanding of integration with a feel for what Portuguese aspirations are and will be in the future.

The Fulbright Scholarship is the source of my entire program. It has provided this opportunity for me and is funding my stay here. However, its role in my work goes beyond mere financing. Through the help and support of the Fulbright staff, I have not only constructed my interview program, but will gain access to Portugal’s best and brightest. The Fulbright sponsorship will allow me to continue my studies when I return home at top-quality public policy schools. Above all, I feel that the work that I perform here in Portugal has been shaped by the values and goals of the Fulbright Program itself – a greater understanding of the world through the exchange of ideas and peoples. The financial, organizational and moral support of the Fulbright Scholarship has been indispensable to the success of my research program.”

Fulbright/FLAD Student Researcher, AY 2000/2001