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2021 2021-22 2022 Americans in the EU

Studying Law and Democracy at the EUI

My Fulbright project looked at why and how law is being used as a tool of democratic inclusion in Europe—the idea of legal mobilization. Specifically, I was investigating how lawyers on the ground in struggles for social justice work with clients, civil society organizations, and larger networks to formulate legal claims asking European-level courts—the Court […]

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2021-22 Americans in the EU General

Vous êtes francophone?: Language in the heart of Europe

On a beautiful, sunny day in early May, I stepped out for some fresh air, an EU policy study tucked into my bag, and headed to the park to do some reading. As I sat trying to brush up on the regulations governing eCommerce and digital services, a group started playing frisbee on the lawn. […]

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2022 Americans in the EU

A sense of community

In my line of research, I often ask respondents, “do you feel a sense of community” in their country of asylum. This question prompts various responses, where some have found their “tribe” and others feel like a lone wolf. Their answer often informs my follow-up question: “do you regret your initial decision to leave your […]

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2021-22 Americans in the EU

Belgitude

When I arrived in Belgium for my Fulbright grant a few weeks before winter 2021 I was, about as literally as possible, a fish out of water. Upon getting my bearings and meeting locals I began to receive a common question: why did you choose Belgium? To this I had come up with a pithy […]

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2021-22 Americans in the EU

Gluten-free adventures

I have celiac disease, which means I have a gluten allergy. If I eat food that contains gluten, I get sick.  Moving to Vienna, Austria and spending extended lengths of time in Sweden for my Fulbright research means I have spent a lot of time staring at the shelves in supermarkets, trying to figure out […]

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2021-22 Americans in the EU

The First Dispatch: notes from a Schuman semester spent primarily in Vienna

Overture: American words, European thoughts  “You enter a kind of altered, out of body state. I can’t explain it, probably no one can. You’ll get it after a few months. Good luck”. So said a friend and Fulbright alum to Asia in the 2010s after an impromptu pre-departure dis-orientation last summer as we hugged and […]

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2021-22 Europeans in the USA

Traveling to and through the American center of gravity

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.

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2018-19

My Fulbright-Schuman Experience in NYC

The Fulbright-Schuman Program made possible one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. Even if I initially conceived it as a mainly academic project, I very soon realized that this would be a profoundly transforming and personal experience. Being in New York City for six months to study at Columbia University was academically enriching […]

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2017-18 Europeans in the USA

A Taste of the Big Apple

Spending five months studying in New York was an enriching experience that challenged my idea of the United States. Before going into the nitty gritty of my experience, some background is needed as to why I decided to study in the US. Mid-way through the second year of my PhD in Law at the European […]

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2017-18 Americans in the EU

Learning to be a Cultural Ambassador

As I approach the end of my Fulbright-Schuman experience and time in Brussels, I’ve been taking some time to reflect back on it. I applied for Fulbright knowing it would be a challenging and rewarding experience, but I have been surprised by what has been the hardest parts. The two main requirements of my grant […]