Fulbright Schuman

GeneralMagdalena Luminska: From Poland to D.C.

Magdalena Luminska: From Poland to D.C.

To state that my Fulbright-Schuman experience in the US has so far been “intensive” is a serious understatement. I have been in Washington focusing on my PhD research at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, School of Advanced International Studies – Johns Hopkins University since the end of March 2012 and it is hard for me to believe that my 9-month fellowship will soon be over.

Apart from my everyday research work and participating actively in the rich life  of the DC think tank community, I have also engaged in a few additional activities to maximize my time in the US:


One of them was a trip to Chicago to attend a series of meetings organized by the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs as side events of the NATO Summit in April, including one with the former Secretary of State – Madeleine Albright.

Being in the nation’s capital during the election campaign has made my fellowship even more exciting. A tight presidential race is a topic everyone is talking about in DC and the best part is being able to observe the campaign up close. I listen, talk to people, watch the TV debates with friends, ask questions, and also… write: I have started sharing my observations of the American election campaign in a blog, which is published on one of the Polish news web portals (for those who desperately want to practice Polish by following my blog: http://magdalenaluminska.natemat.pl

Keeping the race spirit, I also challenged myself to a few runs and completed the Navy-Air Force 5 miler and the 10K Run for the National Parks. Sure, my muscles were a bit sore after each run, but a “private visit” at the Lincoln Memorial on a very early Sunday morning before all the tourists get there was definitely worth the effort.

And even though I was somewhat sad to miss an important international event  in my own home country this summer – the EURO championship, which was cohosted by Poland, I helped to promote the event in DC as much as I could.  It turned out that European football (or soccer as I was taught to call it) has  quite a few true fans among the Americans I met. Some relied on my advice and bravely went on a trip to five different cities in Poland to see the matches.

I am told that the EURO2012 souvenirs will be displayed in some American homes for quite some time. And I will surely cherish many new friends long after my fellowship is over, because apart from a wonderful educational experience, that is what I believe Fulbright-Schuman is all about.


Magdalena Luminska

The Fulbright Schuman Program, administered by the Fulbright Commission in Belgium and jointly financed by the U.S. State Department and the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission awards grants to European citizens to conduct research in the United States and to American citizens to conduct research in the European Union.