Life is good – really good – in San Francisco.
The last several weeks were unexpectedly difficult and emotionally exhausting, but overall, this city brings me joy.
I love my job, my friends, the weather, the weekend road trips, living so close to my boyfriend, living so close to the ocean. I don’t need a change, and I’d likely be more than content staying where I am now, but for some reason I’m packing up and moving to Bogotá, Colombia for 10 months on a Fulbright scholarship.
If the Fulbright wasn’t such a cool opportunity, and I weren’t so intrigued by Colombia, I wouldn’t go.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program began in 1946 when President Truman signed a bill into law, introduced by Senator J. William Fulbright, to use surplus war property to fund the “promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science.”
Today, the U.S. Government sends around 1,900 grantees to over 140 countries annually. Some will teach English, others (like myself) do research on literally any topic for approximately 9 – 12 months.
Last summer when I was beginning my Fulbright application, my sister, Kristen, and I went through a list of every country in the world, sorting through which countries I was interested in and where I was qualified to go (several countries have language requirements). Eventually, Colombia won out. It was largely fueled by my desire to live in a Spanish-speaking country, my interest in women’s reproductive rights, and sheer curiosity to live in a country where I’ve never gone before. Although I initially wanted to be in beautiful + warm Cartagena, Bogotá made more sense for my project.
But, more on my research topic later. For now, I have to continue checking items off of my to-do list. Only a week left in SF, and three weeks until Bogotá.