I will be a senior in the fall and expect to graduate in 2010 with degrees in Mathematics and Physics, as well as a minor in German. I know I want to continue my education in grad school, and I eventually want to become a professor (of math or physics, I like them both so much!). My German professor has suggested to me that I consider applying for a Fulbright for the year after I graduate, so that I might go to Germany to study/research. He doesn't know too much about it, (especially for students of science, since the other people he's assisted in applying have been humanities majors), and maybe you guys could assist me. Does anybody have any experience with this? How stiff is the competition for these things? If I got it, how would it affect my grad school endeavors (since my first year of grad school would essentially be abroad)? I'm also considering using it as a springboard to just go to grad school in Germany, although I do plan on applying for grad schools in the US next year. Also, would it be better if I waited a year or two and did it in the middle of grad school? I already know a few people that research/teach in the Universität Freiburg in the Quantum Information group (and that is specifically the area of physics I am interested in). Would knowing someone who is already there be advantageous in writing a Fulbright application/ research grant? Vielen Dank!