Steve Cutler

 

In my application, I stated that the time in Romania would be best spent collecting information and talking to people in ways that couldn't be done elsewhere. It is less critical to be on site to write up the analyses and this will continue. In short, my Fulbright experience in Romania will go on in my work and I will continue to be a very strong advocate for the Fulbright program. But in a way these questions miss some of the most important aspects of the Fulbright experience, the relationships that are developed not only among students and colleagues but also among folks in the neighborhood. One among many examples I could cite: a woman at the neighborhood laundry spoke a little English and I spoke a little Romanian and on that basis a friendship developed. At one point she was on vacation for a few weeks and I was traveling, so we hadn't seen each other for several weeks. I brought some clothes in to be cleaned and in her best English she said, "Where are you have go; I miss you!" In many respects, I found these daily interactions to be as significant as my academic interactions. And from both, friendships will be sustained by email and Facebook and in other ways. Another comment about something that struck me repeatedly. I think we all agree and accept the fact that as Fulbrighters we are acting as ambassadors for America to Romanians. What dawned on me with increasing clarity during my stay is that I also often acted as an ambassador for Romania to Romanians. All sorts of people -- from academic colleagues to taxi drivers -- asked me if I liked Romania. And most people were surprised when I said I liked Romania very much, that I'd be sad to leave, and that I hoped to be able to return. I spoke of the beauty of the country but more importantly of the warmth and hospitality that I had experienced from Romanians. I'd like to think that Romania and Romanians took on a new meaning when viewed through my eyes. Sure, Romania has huge challenges ahead of it, but it is also an exceptionally beautiful country with a rich cultural history and a warm, hospitable, and talented population to face those challenges. In other words, my academic experience in Romania was wonderful and I hope I contributed as much as I gained. But my daily experience was every bit as rich, and there too I hope I was able to contribute as much as I gained.

 

My fulbright experience

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Students at the advising center

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Romanian-U.S. Fulbright Commission

Adress: 2 Ing. Nicolae Costinescu Street, sector 1, Bucharest, Romania
Phone: 021.230.77.19
Fax: 021.230.77.38
E-mail: office@fulbright.ro

Fulbright Educational Advising Center

Phone: 021.231.90.15
E-mail: feac@fulbright.ro

 Public hours

Tuesday: 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM
 Wednesday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
 Thursday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM