"Who is the PAD and why do they keep emailing me?"
First of all, to prevent any interested parties from wasting too much time - the PAD applies 100% ONLY to English Teaching Assistants in Germany. If you have a research grant or are in any other country, you do not and will never need to know about the PAD.
PAD, as you've probably noticed from the countless paperwork you've received from them stands for Pädagogischer Austauschdienst. They are in charge of selecting and organizing ALL language assistants in Germany. That's right. Not just English assistants. In fact, not even just Americans (don't you remember those silly Brits and Australians, they can be ETAs too). That annoying second application you had to fill out in January/February, that was for the PAD if you'll remember, because they make the final decision on all language assistants in Germany. They are the ones that place you in your school. They are the ones that run orientation. They are the ones you contact first if you have any problems pertaining to your Assistantship (school, payment, etc.).
Basically, I love the PAD and they love language assistants. In the end, you will come to know and love the PAD too. Probably more than you'll know and love Fulbright.
p.s. PAD may be for all language assistants worldwide, but Fulbright is only for the Americans. So spare yourself the
"So what does Fulbright do then?"
Accept for a select few in the diversity program (you know who you are, so if you don't know, don't worry) and a handful receiving their monthly payment directly from Fulbright, you will have very little to do with Fulbright during your ETA year. Basically Fulbright does 3 noticeable things: 1. pay for your travel 2. show up for a day at orientation 3. Have a
"Am I still a Fulbright grantee?"
Yes. It just get's really annoying to explain the whole thing to outsiders when you tell them you have to do something for the PAD, then you have to take 10 minutes to explain that all Germany Fulbright ETAs are run through the PAD, but not all PAD language assistants are Fulbright grantees.
other Fulbright FAQ posts can be found here
other questions can be left as a comment on this post or emailed to me here