Ciprian Crețu

Fulbright Student Researcher, 2019-2020
 
My Fulbright Journey in the U.S.

I’m going to call this my adventure in the U.S., my transformative experience. It starts at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln which hosted the Fulbright English for Graduate Studies Program in July 2019. A rigorous program with English classes every day and many more activities aimed to prepare students for their new life in a foreign place.

I met with a lot of nice educated people from all over the world; With 31 one people from over 14 different countries (Afghanistan, Brazil, Chile, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Japan, Kenya, Russia, Thailand among them), to be more precise. We lived, ate, studied, and had fun together. We were a community gathered together in the same place from an entire planet. From time to time I am still contemplating the idea and the opportunity to be a part of such a global assembly where different life experiences, different beliefs and values, different opinions met and intertwined in constructive and valuable discussions. When I left Lincoln for Florida, to continue with my adventure, I felt like I was carrying within me a better understanding of the ways in which we perceive, make sense and cluster the world around us. There is also another thing not to be neglected here: my English skills have considerably improved.

My next and final destination was the city of Gainesville, down in the southern region of the U.S., in Florida – a small city with a big school: University of Florida. The office they provided for me in the historical Keene-Flint Hall (where the Department of History is hosted) virtually became my home for 10 months.

For me, facing an exceptional academic infrastructure, including the library, lots of online databases, and above all the amazing InterLibrary Loan Service, initially entailed a “feeling of being small” in front of such a large picture. The idea of experiencing one of the best education systems in the world (if not the best) could be quite overwhelming as well. But soon I realized that this is going to be a unique opportunity to learn as much as possible, to work like never before in my academic life. And I did just that. Hundreds of books and articles that I requested together with lots of meaningful talks with my advisor (Dr. Florin Curta to whom I am deeply grateful) testify to my experience and work for the past 10 months.

Naturally, living in the U.S. for one year meant many other things outside the realm of academia. I would like to include these experiences under the umbrella concept of “enjoy living”. Many things happened under this umbrella. A barbecue party on the front porch with neighbors and friends that concluded with singing and roasting marshmallows near the campfire at dawn; a trip to the wonderful city of New Orleans, Louisiana for my birthday; a lovely road trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee to visit the landlord’s family; small getaways to explore the wonders that Florida has to offer. My Fulbright journey had all of these and many more little things that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

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My U.S. Study Experience

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My fulbright experience

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