Professor of History Andrew Hartman traveled to Southern Denmark University in Odense, Denmark, in 2013 on a Fulbright fellowship.
To celebrate Fulbright alumni at Illinois State, he recounts his days in the program and the impact it made. #Fulbright@ISU #FulbrightPrgrm
Please describe your project.
I was the Danish Fulbright Distinguished Chair of American Studies. I taught four classes during the academic year, two each semester—one at the grad level and one undergrad. I also gave 12 lectures across Europe.
How do you believe your Fulbright experience changed your work after you returned?
It gave both my scholarship and my teaching a different perspective—American history is different from a foreign angle.
Travel can be referred to as the gift of the unexpected. What was the most unexpected thing you saw or experienced?
Embraced by so many Danes who knew nothing about me except that I was living in their country—and interested in their country—was an amazing experience.
Have you returned to the country where you served your Fulbright award? Had it changed? Had you changed?
Yes just this summer, to attend a conference and give a few lectures. It seems the same, but I had definitely changed for the better and was able to see it from a more expansive perspective since I’ve been thinking about it since I left in 2014. I was able to really appreciate things like trains that are reliable and people who soak up every ray of sun because they have so little of it.
What do you most wish people could understand about the Fulbright experience?
That it made me a better person. And that it made my family closer. And that it gave my kids a world that I never had until recently.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of applying for Fulbright?
Do it! And make contacts at the institutions where you want to work immediately.