Annual Holiday Gathering of the Fulbright National Capital Area Chapter
For the fourth year in a row, the Embassy of Slovenia hosted on Sunday, December 13, the traditional holiday gathering of the Fulbright Association alumni of the National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC). Around 150 students, academics, business people, and government officials who participated in the Fulbright exchange program and now work in the nation's capital, joined the event, which included a performance by the DC jazz-piano band, as well as a potluck dinner of culinary specialties of different countries, and Slovenian wine and beer.
Opening remarks by the Board Vice President of Washington D.C. Fulbright Alumni Club, Mr. Cris Ramon, were followed by a welcoming speech by the Slovenian Ambassador, Dr. Božo Cerar. He emphasized the importance of international exchanges for achieving cross-cultural understanding. The ambassador also stressed that in 2015 the Slovenian embassy in Washington and the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana commemorated 50 years of Fulbright exchanges between both countries. In addition, he mentioned the recent visit to the U.S. by Prime Minister Dr. Miro Cerar, himself a Fulbright alumnus, with a delegation. One of the main goals of the visit was to enhance cooperation between the two countries in the educational, science and research fields.
The Fulbright program, supported by U.S. Congress, is the international exchange scholarship program between the U.S. and partner governments of 155 countries, including Slovenia. Since 1964, when the first Educational Exchange agreement between the U.S. and the now former Yugoslavia was signed, over 350 Slovenian scholars have taken part in the program and even more Americans visited Slovenia as part of their grant, some of them also joining the embassy for the Sunday annual event.