When applying for Fulbright, I thought of it as just another scholarship. Boy was I wrong!
First of all, the sense of community. I truly feel as if I am part of a big family that supports one another. Living in New York, thousands of kilometers away from your family, friends and work can surely be intimidating. However, whenever I felt lonely, I had tens of other Fulbrighters (and hundreds of alumni) that I could reach out to, spend time with, share experiences and have fun!
Secondly, a sense of purpose. Being a researcher is often a lonely job. At least it is for me. Hours spent on reading articles, preparing research methods, coding and analyzing data, closed in your office or library can be demotivating, especially when the results are not visible at first. Whereas, knowing that I am part of a larger community and how honored I am to be part of the program, my motivation level skyrocketed!
Thirdly, opportunities. Fulbright not only enables you to visit best US universities, but most importantly it gets you in touch with other Fulbrighters, which are all extraordinary people, that you can learn from. Those 6 months at Columbia Business School gave me tons of new research ideas, new research projects and collaborations that go beyond the program itself.
I never expected that my stay in the US could’ve given me so much. Apart from the learning experiences, opportunities and research ideas it gave me lifetime friendships!
I am proud to call myself a Fulbrighter!