On the Road! Exploring the U.S.-American Heartland & “Building Bridges through Exchange”

May 11-19, 2019

Program Description

As part of the Year of German-American Friendship (Deutschlandjahr USA), Fulbright Germany will provide three groups of Fulbrighters the opportunity to engage with U.S.-Americans from the heartland about Germany.

The roadtrips will take the groups consisting of six current German Fulbright grantees and American Fulbright alumni, the latter preferably with a background in German Studies or Communications and Journalism, as well as friends of the Fulbright program, on different routes across the country. Along their journey in VW camper vans, the groups will engage with local communities on German heritage and contemporary Germany in a variety of informal get togethers. Successful road trip stops may include town halls, film screenings, music sessions, site visits, and happy hours. The purpose of these activities is to create new opportunities for people to meet and gain insight into contemporary German culture as well as to discuss transatlantic relations. Participants will help plan the activities throughout the four stops per group, execute them independently as a team and post regular visual and written reflections from the road via social media to share their adventures. 

Three routes – numerous insights

Blue-white Bavarian villages in Georgia? German accent in Texas? Lower Saxon car industry in Tennessee? Along three different tours, Fulbrighters will discuss German influence then and now as well as transatlantic relations. The final destination of the week-long trip is the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where a conference with up to 150 Fulbright grantees and alumni will be held. During this closing event the participants will share their experiences with current and former Fulbrighters, scholars, and the University of Arkansas' academic community.

Potential routes (to be specified with selected participants):

From the East into the American Heartland (yellow route):
Oldenburg (Indiana) – Daniel Boone National Forest (Kentucky) – exploring the impact of German car industry in Chattanooga (Tennessee) – Helen (Georgia) – Atlanta (Georgia) – Cullman (Alabama) -discussing musical collaboration in Germantown/Memphis (Tennessee) – cooking Swabian cuisine in Stuttgart (Arkansas)

From the North into the American Heartland (violet route):
Berlin (Wisconsin) – exploring the Upper Mississippi in Hanover (Illinois) – Galena (Illinois) – Bloomington (Illinois) – dancing Volkstanz in Oldenburg (Indiana) – St. Louis (Missouri) – Hermann (Missouri) – discussing German-American military cooperation at Fort Leonard Wood (Missouri)

From the South into the American Heartland (blue route):
New Braunsfels (Texas) – speaking Texasdeutsch in Austin (Texas) – Rosenberg (Texas) – debating nature preservation policies at Sabine Wildlife Regugee close to Lake Charles (Louisanna) – Jena (Louisanna) – discussing historical conflicts and how they are dealt with today in Little Rock (Arkansas)

Program Details, May 11-19, 2019

Participants are asked to schedule their arrival at the starting points (to be determined) on Saturday, May 11. Upon their arrival they will attend an orientation meeting before starting their roadtrip (May 12-17). The last stop of the trip is the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in the afternoon of Friday, May 17. The closing conference with keynotes, panels, workshops, and social events will begin on Friday evening and conclude on Sunday, May 19, in the early afternoon.

The application deadline for the roadtrip in 2019 has passed.

Photo: University of Arkansas

“Building Bridges through Exchange” – International Conference at the University of Arkansas
May 17 to 19, 2019

The conference “Building Bridges through Exchange” marks the culmination of the Roadtrip. It is hosted by the German-American Fulbright Commission in partnership with the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The conference is open to Fulbright grantees and alumni, the University of Arkansas’ community and interested local guests.

Drawing from Fulbright’s global legacy, the conference gives participants the opportunity to discuss the importance of bridge-building today. How can we actively foster mobility, exchange and collaboration?

Conference Program

The participants will:

  • Explore the legacy of the global Fulbright program, including highlights of the University’s special collection such as the Fulbright papers, and discuss Fulbright’s impact and mission as an organization today. What does the future hold for Fulbright exchanges?
  • Meet the participants of Fulbright Germany’s roadtrip project. What surprises did they encounter on the road? How did they experience their ambassador role?
  • Learn from the most famous historic example of “making walls history”: the fall of the Berlin Wall. How did international exchange contribute to the end of the Cold War? What impact does this pivotal event have on European-transatlantic relations today? And how can current divides be bridged?
  • Share their personal commitment to promote international understanding and societal change. What can we do to tear down invisible walls in society?


Thanks to the University of Arkansas’ hospitality, the conference participants will engage with this timely issue in a very meaningful place: eighty years ago, J. William Fulbright assumed the presidency of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Following his tenure, he represented Arkansas in both chambers of the United States Congress, including almost thirty years as a US Senator.

Save the date

The conference begins on Friday evening (May 17, 2019) with a welcome reception and will conclude on Sunday afternoon (May 19, 2019). For planning purposes, we would appreciate a short email if participants plan to attend or would like to contribute to the program (events[at]fulbright.de). The registration form will be available here soon; we will send an official invitation once it is online.

Conference Stipend

Current Fulbright grantees and new alumni (grant 2017/2018) residing in the United States (outside Arkansas) can apply for a conference stipend.

Grant Benefits

The benefits of the conference stipend include:

  • Accommodation (two nights in a double room)
  • Travel subsidy of $100


The application process for a conference stipend is being made available to:

  • Current German Fulbright grantees, who will (still) be residing in the U.S. in mid-May 2019 (outside Arkansas).
  • American Fulbright Alumni (grant 2017/2018), who are located in the U.S. from May 17-19, 2019 (outside Arkansas).

Application Procedure & Deadlines

Please note that only complete applications will be considered. A complete application includes the following:

1. Electronic application form (Part 1)
Please download the application form and save under the file name: “BuildingBridges2019_LASTNAME_Firstname_Part1.pdf” (using the latest Adobe Reader) as Part 1 of your application. Fill out the application form electronically (so that we may digitally process your personal information) and save again.

2. Signature page (Part 2)
Please download and print the signature page. Save the signed (with both signatures) and scanned form as a .pdf document under the file name: “BuildingBridges2019_LASTNAME_Firstname_Part2.pdf” as Part 2 of your application.

3. Curriculum vitae (Part 3)
Please save your CV as a .pdf document under the file name: BuildingBridges2019_LASTNAME_Firstname_Part3.pdf” as Part 3 of your application.

Please send Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 as separate .pdf documents in one e-mail to events[at]fulbright.de. To guarantee the successful submission of your application, please ensure that the attachment sizes of Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 combined are no larger than 10 MB. The application deadline is February 25, 2019.

Please note our data protection declaration and data protection information regarding your application.

All applications will be reviewed and selection results will be communicated to applicants in March 2019.


If you have questions regarding logistics at the University of Arkansas, please feel free to contact DeDe Long, director of the Office of Study Abroad & International at dslong[at]uark.edu.

Fulbright Germany
Lützowufer 26
10787 Berlin


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