My Fulbright Experience: João Rodrigues
(o Fulbrighter com o host, Professor Eamonn Keogh)
(com a mascote Scotty Highlander 🙂
«I have reflected on my experience in the USA and definitely think it changed my perspective in several ways, personally and academically. Personally, this experience made me grow a lot. I had never lived outside of Portugal for that long since I was 11. I had to adapt to a totally different environment, meet new people, meet one of my academic idols, and work at one of the best Universities in the world. It was definitely interesting to experience the American culture and society. People are very nice and welcoming. I felt included very quickly. The mobility is very different than in Europe, we have to use the car for most things (unfortunately), but I was lucky, the place I stayed at (Riverside) had good biking infrastructures, which allowed me to commute by bike and even travel around in many Californian cities (Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego). The weather was very similar to the Portuguese weather, so it felt almost like home in that aspect. In Universities, the cultural diversity is huge, which was a positive experience as well. I also learned a lot about the culture in California, and how much it is influenced by Mexicans (not only food-wise, but Mexican food is the best…I got addicted to it 🙂 ). Professionally, I believe this experience shaped my future self in many ways. Before my time in the US, I was very reluctant to leave Portugal, but now, I do think I am more open to living abroad for a while and will look more into international experiences. I also felt that science in Portugal is actually very good. We do a lot with what we have but do feel that we need more confidence to publish in better conferences and journals. We definitely have the quality and knowledge for it. During my stay, I was very lucky to be supervised by Professor Eamonn Keogh, to whom I am really thankful for helping me in the project we conducted as well as making my stay so much more rewarding. Academically, I learned a lot with him about the processes that the best labs follow to publish and conduct research. This was quite transformative and I feel more prepared to better conduct research work, and publish better and in better conferences and journals. I will cherish this amazing experience forever and have to thank my supervisors (Prof. Hugo and Prof. Eamonn), as well as the Fullbright Commission for making it possible.»
Thank you, João, welcome back!