Let me start by saying that Austin is considered the world capital of Live Music… So, there is no night at beautiful Austin downtown without high quality blues, jazz, rock, etc… Just choose your preferred rhythm and you will find a pleasant bar with your type of music. You can enhance the experience by combining the amazing music with perfect weather (even at night, temperatures are close to 30 ºC) if you visit Austin between September and November. These were nice surprises when I arrived at Austin that much facilitated my integration into the daily life.
A very important theme in Austin is football, in particular, the performance of the Longhorns, the University of Texas team. I was lucky enough to catch the football season and I am sorry to say that the team did not perform as expected. Still, a football game is a whole new experience for a European to watch. The Longhorns won this game, so I was able to see a cannon fire (a local tradition at Austin) for each touchdown of the Longhorns team.
My grant period at Austin was only 3 months, so I had a lot to do and not too much time to accomplish it! One of the objectives of the grant implied talking with both researchers and support offices of UT Austin. With the information I gathered during the interviews, I was able to identify best practices that I brought to the Unit I am coordinating at the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University NOVA of Lisbon, Portugal. The Unit is now implementing these best practices on knowledge transfer and commercialization. Hopefully, we will see results of this in the coming months.
As a whole, this was a very enriching experience both at personal and work levels. The friends I made during these 3 months will stay and the knowledge I gathered will have impact at both the Unit as well as national and hopefully international level. Thank you Fulbright Commission and European Commission for the opportunity!
– Filipa Duarte
2015-2016 Fulbright-Schuman Scholar