My long-awaited Fulbright experience started on a tropical day at the end of August and finished with an exceptional winter storm right before Christmas. Unlike the temperature, my enthusiasm for living and studying in New England did constantly increase during those four months.
It is easy to say that spending a semester in the US is an extraordinary experience that everyone cannot wait to live. However, in my case, this opportunity has been much harder to enjoy, according to my schedule, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, when I started my Joint Master of Arts in Transatlantic Affairs at the College of Europe in September 2019, I was already dreaming about my first experience on the other side of the Atlantic in the following academic year. Nevertheless, the disruption caused by the pandemic obliged me to postpone my plans: I did not want to waste my first experience in the US through online classes and faces covered by masks. Therefore, I started working in Brussels while hoping that each following semester would have been the one “covid-free”. Finally, two years later than expected, I have been able to fly over the Atlantic to spend the Fall 2022 semester at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy with the additional privilege of being a Fulbright Schuman fellow.
Since my first weeks in Massachusetts, I have been happy to have waited so long. The first thing that amazed me was the quality of the university facilities, not only for the lectures but also sports, cultural events, and other student activities. Secondly, as soon as I finished settling down in my student dormitory, I could not believe the number of events and activities offered by both the university and student associations. Indeed, the Boston area is so rich of prestigious institutions that on the same day, I could run between different events and conferences among The Fletcher School, Harvard University, MIT, and Boston University. In those hectic days, my European soul was missing not having an electric bike to move around the region, as America is a country built for cars. However, despite the amount of time spent commuting due to the long distances, all those events were unique, especially for all the interesting people I met during the four months. My favorite one was probably the Midterm election night, where I spent hours and hours debating with my fellow students and some guests (e.g., the former NYC mayor De Blasio) about the main EU-US political challenges. In this wonderful atmosphere, being a Fulbright-Schuman fellow gave me the opportunity to interact with many US and international experts in climate change and green policies, with a particular focus on the private sector perspective. Moreover, after the COVID-19 travel restrictions were all lifted, I had the opportunity to travel across the East Coast for conferences and to meet other Fulbright friends.
In the end, this rich and continuous series of events and meetings made my Fulbright and American experience so unique. Although I had already lived in several countries of the Old Continent, I felt like a citizen of the world for the first time in Massachusetts. Now, back in Europe, I am ready to contribute to developing green policies to fight climate change with an even stronger belief: the transatlantic community has to lead the way.
Lorenzo Revello, a 2022-2023 Fulbright Schuman grantee, is pursuing a joint Master of Arts in Transatlantic Affairs at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and at the College of Europe. He also holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Strategic Sciences from the University of Turin. During his academic career, he took part in five Erasmus projects studying and working in Belgium, France, Germany and the UK. Driven by his interest in the EU-US relations, he firstly interned at the US Mission to the EU and then started working at NATO HQ in several positions concerning energy and climate change.Articles are written by Fulbright grantees and do not reflect the opinions of the Fulbright Commission, the grantees’ host institutions, or the U.S. Department of State.