My Fulbright Experience: José Caetano
«When I arrived in Southern California amid a new Covid surge, I could not have predicted what my Fulbright experience would be. And yet, it gave me everything I needed. And now that this adventure has ended, I can say that it has definitely changed me. Both academically and personally.
I was able to learn from renowned researchers in my field of study, having learned so many new techniques and methodologies which I could not acquire if not for my Fulbright grant. That knowledge opened new possibilities for my current research interests, as now I have the tools and the networking skills to make a significant contribution beyond the academia. The University of California – Irvine was only my home for 6 months, but a part of me will always live here in the many friends I leave.
In Southern California, I experienced a multicultural environment that was beyond my expectations. After the initial culture-shock, being able to immerse myself in a community of people with so many backgrounds and beliefs taught me the vital importance of multicultural preservation. Above all, I learned how we, as a community, have so much to learn from our differences, and it is that shared learning experience that will definitely help us reach new levels of knowledge and understanding. I could not have witness this if I made my academic route only in my home country. And for that, I am deeply grateful to the Fulbright Commission.
As I leave the US from this wonderful experience, I encourage every young researcher to be bold. The Fulbright program can be the ideal next step in taking your journey to places beyond your horizons. And with that, I finish with the UC Irvine motto: “The future is bright. Make it brilliant!“».
End of the year celebration by the UC Irvine’s International Center
My workplace in the Visiting Scholar Office of the LPS department at UC Irvine
Aldrich Park, the cornerstone of the UC Irvine campus where everyone can enjoy nature and take a break from our eventful days
Thank you, José, and welcome back!