The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program of the U.S. government. For over 70 years, the Fulbright Program has supported cooperation for the development of science, culture, and interpersonal, as well as inter-institutional relations between the United States and over 160 countries. Since the inauguration of the Program in 1946, almost 400,000 people worldwide have benefited from scholarships, taking part in academic exchanges.
Poland was the first country in Eastern Europe to join the Fulbright Program. In 1959, Franciszek Lyra, graduate of the University of Warsaw English Department, was the first Polish Fulbrighter. He received a one-year fellowship to study linguistics at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. Several years after his return to Poland, Lyra utilized the knowledge and skills he had developed during his stay in the United States to help establish the English department at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. In 1961, the first American grantee visited Poland. Prof. Daniel Aaron from Harvard University spent a year in the nation’s capital as a visiting lecturer at the University of Warsaw.