This year in the U.S. was a sweet challenge for me: living abroad for the first time, studying in another language, communicating with students from other countries and with different mindsets were some of the challenging parts of this experience. The Fulbright family and support as well as the opportunities for exchange of ideas and cultural customs were the sweet parts.
I am now writing this report sitting in my old office at home, where I first dreamed of this adventure, where I first applied for studies in the US, where I received the “Congratulations” emails, where I learnt I was selected as a Fulbright scholar. I am sitting here, 10 months later but I do not feel the same person at all. Nothing is the same.
What changed? People from over 80 countries shaped my heart and mind this past year. I let them do it. That is the key. I went there with no fear, no shields, no prejudice and that made it easier for me to connect and live this experience to the fullest. My best friend from India calls me on Skype. My friends from Los Angeles are visiting me this summer. My friends in Brussels try to convince me to work for the European Union and my friends from Germany still reminisce about the Greek dinner I prepared for them before leaving the country.