Imagine a world powered by a fuel of the future, hydrogen. Picture hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles smoothly sailing the streets alongside electric vehicles as integral pieces of a zero-emission transportation system. If this vision seems far-fetched, then California might surprise you. As a Polish Ph.D. candidate, I never dreamed of witnessing this transformative shift first-hand until the Fulbright Schuman Program turned my dreams into reality.
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.
I arrived in the peaceful, scenic town of Amherst, set in the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts and home of three schools of the renowned Five College Consortium1, in mid-August 2021 for a seven-month stay in the Anthropology Department at the University of Massachusetts as a Fulbright Schuman Professor Awardee. I had made the move […]
During the first COVID lock-down in my hometown Vienna, Austria, writing a Fulbright proposal for visiting the United States felt strange. My partner and I did not even dare to celebrate when we received the request to sign the contract and submit our documents for the visa procedure. When we finally touched ground in California, we could not believe our luck. We could finally taste the life we only knew from the movies, music and, in general, our pop-cultural upbringing. Until our departure, I never stopped marvelling at this alien world, beautiful and seemingly endless landscapes, diversity in biomes and cultures, buzzing urban areas, but also its enormous divide between rich and poor, ubiquitous slums and the currently prevailing grand polarization of the American population.
I visited Columbia University during the fall semester of 2021. As chance would have it, this was the semester during which Columbia University’s student workers went on a 10-week strike which saw them win a range of improvements over previous working conditions
Are you familiar with Bob Dylan’s “Shelter from the Storm”? Inspired by this song, this blogpost is dedicated to all people and organizations in Louisiana who give, advocate for and lay the groundwork for the delivery of decent shelter to all human beings from recurrent storms and other stormy life events. I invite you to listen to this beautiful song while you read this post.
Having grown up on a dwarf planet in the solar system of the United States’ cultural imperialism, my frame of reference is replete with American products, phenomena, and even phrases. While the orbital elements of U.S. hegemony – politics, news, and entertainment – have thus shaped how I look at the world, life in my native country, the Netherlands, only exposed me to reflections and derivatives of life in the American center of gravity.
From the halls of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, inhabited by the spirit of countless diplomats and foreign affairs specialist of the last century, to the offices of the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., my Fulbright Schuman experience was centered on the bond that ties the United States to Europe.
It’s 11 PM on a Friday in early January and I just arrived outside my hotel in Chicago downtown, tired and jetlagged. It is dark, cold, and the wind blows a freezing breeze from the great lakes through Chicago’s streets. Doing normally my Ph.D. at the European University Institute in sunny Italy I asked myself: […]
Amidst those protestors, is where I would be right now, had I not chosen to leave. Beginning of March: the world is watching China and, of all places, my home country, Italy, fight the “invisible enemy” COVID-19. It’s impossible to imagine what happens next. I left New York on March 21st. Destination: not Brussels, where […]