Servus! I’m Elvia and I am a Foreign Service Officer serving my first overseas diplomatic tour in Munich, Germany. In this photo, I was helping register Americans living in Germany to vote. I’m extremely grateful to the #Fulbright program and others that provided me with financial assistance, professional development resources, and overseas experience. It’s difficult to tell if I would be here without Fulbright. My Fulbright experience inspired me to strive for a career in which I could represent American diversity abroad as a proud #Latinx American. We are still significantly underrepresented in government agencies and leadership positions. I hope my story will inspire more people like myself to take advantage of the opportunity to follow their passion and experience living abroad that Fulbright provides.
Being a #Fulbright scholar from 2014-2015 was a turning point for me professionally. Having been a high school exchange student in France my sophomore year of high school through the #Rotary Youth Exchange Program and then again after high school through the Congress-Bundestag Exchange Program #CBYX in Germany, it’s no surprise that I focused on European Studies as an undergrad at St. Edward’s University where I was also a College Assistance Migrant #CAMP student and #McNair Scholar.
After undergrad, I was a #FulbrightAustria Scholar at the #DiplomaticAcademy of Vienna where I completed a one-year program in international relations hoping to transition into a PhD program in history. During this year, I had the opportunity to attend several talks and presentations focused on #diplomacy and its importance for peace in Europe 100 years after the start of WWI. Austria’s Foreign Ministry also held entrance exams for their foreign service, which peaked my interest in the American #ForeignService. Therefore I applied and became a #PickeringFellow, which helped fund my Master’s Degree from the Center for German and European Studies Program at #Georgetown University.