With great sadness, I read Denise Glover’s My Take essay on “Cutting off Fulbright exchange program further shrinks our world” [Aug. 22, Opinion]. What a loss.
Daily, I see Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other diplomats around the world landing in foreign countries for discussions. I always wonder what they really understand about those countries. They whiz from the airport in limousines to conference rooms. They do not have the same experiences as Fulbright scholars.
Fulbright offers insight into the daily life of ordinary folk around the world. Preconceived ideas alter for the hosts and the exchangers, providing inspiration and new dimensions to the future from this people-to-people program. Between my exchange partners and myself, I estimate we have impacted at least 12,000 students in our home countries as a result of our Fulbright exchanges.
Do not diminish the Fulbright programs but rather broaden them. We need these programs in today’s world more than ever.
Marlene Jones, Fulbright recipient, Tukwila