I am a PhD student in Materials Science at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Cracow University of Technology. I mainly deal with the modification of polymer composites with an emphasis on bio-based/biodegradable polymers. In my work, I deal with the production of functional bio-based polymer composites with increased strength properties and low negative impact on the natural environment. I consider the Fulbright grant at the University of California in Irvine to be a turning point in my scientific career. During my stay at the UCI, I was able to learn how to use many laboratory equipment, which translated into very interesting results, and significantly increased the substantive value of my doctoral dissertation. I try to implement many patterns of scientific work observed at UCI at my home university, which makes the work more effective. My stay in the United States will not only affect my professional career but it also contributed to the development of my personality. Despite the difficult time of the coronavirus pandemic, I met many fascinating and inspiring people who were like family to me. I opened myself up to others and I can say that I look at the world more boldly. Moreover, my stay in California made me come back to my childhood passions, which are playing tennis and the piano. It was a really wonderful time!