My Fulbright Experience: Bernardo Gonçalves
«The Portuguese writer José Saramago wrote that it is necessary to leave the island to see the island (“É preciso sair da ilha para ver a ilha”) and leaving Portugal to the US for six months was precisely this to me. Leaving my country, my habits, my daily life, was a trigger to look at myself, life, (past?) and future from a different point of view and it was one of the adventures of my life (so far).
Some people ask me about which thing made the most impact or difference in this experience, and I realize that I do not have a single answer to give them. I can only say that the full experience impacted me as a human being – working at an American university with such great people, living with my (incredible and unique) host family, travelling across the country on my own, sharing my experiences and being open to new ones, getting out of my comfort zone… Embracing all sides of life and its experiences, where also failure, insecurity and uncertainty take place.
(o campus da The College of William & Mary, com “Crim Dell Bridge” e a estátua de Thomas Jefferson, alumnus da instituição)
(Washington DC; Nova Iorque, Boston: as viagens que o Fulbrighter fez para conhecer melhor o país)
I am forever thankful to every person that I met during my journey, including the people from the Fulbright Commission in Portugal. I will do my best to carry with me the knowledge I acquired during these past few months, which goes way beyond academics.
The mission is never truly finished. Até já!»
Thank you, Bernardo, for being part of this wide and friendly community, welcome back!