Architecture, University of California, IDEAS Mobility Studio, Los Angeles
My experience as a Fulbright grantee and graduate student at UCLA, which would have been unattainable without both the financial and practical support of the Fulbright Foundation, has granted me not only extraordinary academic insight but also a chance to advance on a personal level through the constant intercultural exchange and collaboration that is prevalent in American academic institutions.
Upon my arrival in the U.S. I was already comprehensively informed on a series of crucial aspects that made the transition to my new life a smooth journey into the realm of American lifestyle. The pre-departure orientations and especially the feedback and advice from Fulbright alumni turned out to have built a strong base for encountering both administrative and everyday requirements and challenges. After my successful settling-in, the Fulbright Foundation, along with IIE, were important bystanders in my pursuit of new academic and cultural frontiers, helping me in every step of the way and supporting me on every issue that I faced. In terms of adjustment to the life of Los Angeles, I am more than glad to say that I enthusiastically jumped into the new environment and enjoyed every minute of it. I was lucky enough to immediately find myself into a diverse environment of people that helped me feel stable and confident and formed a solid foundation for me to focus on my academic goals without the psychological burden of an insecure social and mental state. Those co-travelers have been more than mere acquaintances, they are and will hopefully remain friends and collaborators throughout my life and a constant reminder of how the fusion of cultures brings about the most unexpected and novice ideas and relationships.
Throughout my stay in the U.S. I kept in touch with several Fulbright grantees and alumni, in a social circle that keeps on expanding as the Fulbright community is an inclusive and inviting environment, based on sharing and mutual support. As far as my experience at UCLA is concerned, the university offered extensive support and opportunities for my academic advancement. Not only did the program meet my expectations but the collaboration with the faculty staff as well as the facilities provided were outstanding. Especially my collaboration with my immediate professors exceeded my expectations as both their interests in my individual advancement as well as their own personal values as members of the academia was exponentially upgrading my educational experience and insight into advancements that are shaping the architecture of today and tomorrow.
Anatoli Georgiadou is a Fulbright Alumna of the 2019-2020 Graduate Student Program
Photo: Anatoli Georgiadou