“I arrived in Lisbon, Portugal in September 2010 with the objective of carrying out research on 20th century Angolan history. Yet along the way, my past eight months have also steered me towards research on pre-colonial Macau, colonial Brazil, contemporary Goa, and fostered an interest in Ottoman-Portuguese relations. My time abroad has both deepened my past research interests and broadened new paths. I have had a very enriching Fulbright experience in Portugal that has benefited both my professional and personal development.
I have concurrently been completing a Masters in History at the ISCTE-Lisbon University Institute. A big challenge for me was adjusting to the local education system and European Portuguese, as opposed to the Brazilian Portuguese I was exposed to at home. That said, it has been a valuable and absolutely indispensable part of my experience to be immersed not only in the host culture, but also within the Portuguese education system. My professors have provided me with professional opportunities, such as writing a book review to submit for publication, and inviting me to participate in three academic conferences in Portugal. Beyond this, Fulbright has sent me to participate in a conference on American diversity and identities in Poland, and to a NATO/EU seminar in Belgium and Luxembourg.
As I just finished my B.A. the past year, it has been very rewarding to be forced to grow not only in the post-undergraduate world, but in an entirely new setting abroad. Both financially and politically, Lisbon has been a particularly exciting city to be this past year. During the November 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon, I was able to participate as a Young Atlanticist. The interactions with others from all over the globe paved the way for great debate and good friendships. I have also enjoyed my time finding niches beyond my research, ranging from Turkish cooking classes at Luso-Turca, the Portuguese-Turkish Friendship Association, and exploring the salsa and Angolan kizomba scene.
My Fulbright grant has had an absolutely integral role in my professional and personal life, and I am extremely thankful for the experience. I have enjoyed my time here so much that I will be staying another year to complete my Masters dissertation.”
Fulbright U.S. Student, AY2010/2011