I went to the Fulbright interview at last ! It was yesterday.
It was good, they were so friendly. But I had to wait for my turn since 9:30 in the morning till 1 afternoon! We were only fifteen applicants as we were divided into two or three groups. I was in the first group, and it turned out that the Fulbright office had called all of the applicants to make sure that they know about the date and place of the interview. And I thought that I was the only one to get that phone call !!! Usually when we want to apply for anything here in Iraq we get ignored after sometime and we get nothing! We are not used to get phone calls from an embassy to tell us Please come on the exact time!!! HUH!
Everyone was surprised to get that phone call, and no one said anything about it untill the employee mentioned it and then we all laughed. Maybe everyone of the applicants felt that he was treated in a special way thinking that he was the only one to get a call ! Actually I thought that too!
Even that girl with me from college, when I asked her if anybody called her she said no! And then the next day she said yes they called, she was scared to say yes at first !
So here it goes my story with the Fulbright:
I knew about it from an uncle last year after I had my sergury. He gave me the onld website address and said this is a scholarship program website, go check it. I was still at third stage of college at that time, so I only sent them an email asking about the scholarship. And they replied after few days giving me the new address. I stopped at that point.
Then after few months, it was winter as I remember, someone got me the email of the Fulbright office at the U.S. embassy and I emailed them directly asking about full details about the scholarship. I was a senior students by that time and I had few months to graduate. I got an auto reply at the same time saying that the program for 2005 is closed and that I should wait for the 2006 program to come out on March 2005, And they sent me a Word Document with some websites and references for study prgrams. I didn't get any benfit from it anyway.
Again, I didn't stop sending them emails. And I started to get quick replies about every question. Until January 2005 when I sent them to ask about the opening of the competition and where to find the application form. They replied me with full details this time and gave me the dates and places of the TOEFL Test Center. The only office was in Erbil at that time! So what! I went to Erbil and paid the 180$, and then went again on March to have the TOEFL Test. And I got the result after a month. I scored 557. Then I graduated on June with 81,34. I'm one of the first ten students in my department. But it took me a long time to get my certificate to the Fulbright, but I could make it before the deadline and submitted my file beofre the 20th of July. The deadline was on 31st of July.
But they sent me an email before I submit my file. They were rushing me to apply!! And so I did.
Then after that I kept waiting till they informed me if I moved to the next step. And I was chosen for the interview at last. So I went. Everything was like what I expected it to be. Friendly committee. Easy questions.
To be continued...