Marcela Șlusarciuc

Fulbright Visiting Scholar, 2018-2019

Before departure from home, six months seemed a lot of time to spend in US, but in the end, before returning home, it seemed simply not enough. It was a continuous challenge between getting most of the research resources, events or people and getting some of the America outside of the international campus. Living and studying in Bloomington, Indiana – somewhere in the middle of US, was a colorful bubble in the time of my life.

The field of my research – institutions connected with international relations offered me affiliation with three departments/structures within Indiana University: Ostrom Workshop (founded by the Nobel Prize Winner, Elinor Ostrom and her husband), Russian and East European Institute (REEI) within the School of Global and International Studies and Political Science Department. Therefore, my life in campus was a bright puzzle of activities: Institutional and Organizational Analysis (IOA) classes, Research series and Colloquium series, attendance to Political Thought and Leadership classes, Tocqueville series, Fulbrighters monthly meetings, Romanian language hours, meetings with other scholars, the wide array of concerts within Jacob School of Music, movies, sport activities, forest hiking, and more. I was amazed to see how large the Fulbright community in Bloomington is, more than 40 people covering far-far-away places, to connect with Fulbrighters in Indianapolis and, to connect with the ones spread all over US, when I attended the Fulbright Enrichment seminar in Raleigh, North Carolina.

As the aim of the research project was to investigate and determine a theoretical institutional architecture for good governance of cross-border regions, the main accomplishment during my stay was a better understanding of the institutional theoretical framework promoted by Ostrom Workshop. Therefore, in terms of results, I managed to prepare a research report that was presented within the mini-conference organized on December 6th, 2018 in the frame of the IOA course. A secondary result was a draft for a paper "Quo vadis, cooperante? - Evolution of the formal framework of cross-border institutions across Romania-Ukraine border" - work presented in the Research Series on February 6th, 2019. All along the meetings and events, the interactions with scholars from different fields and the mutual sharing of research ideas and work represented a good opportunity of networking and future research cooperation, also for feedback on my work. Also, with the support of the REEI team I held a lecture on January 28th, 2019 about “Cross-border Cooperation and Partnership across the Eastern Border of the European Union with a focus on Romania, Ukraine, and the Republic of Moldova”.

I was fortunate to meet kind and ready to help people, from the first day of my arrival until the last day: the professor who guided me in all the logistic issues for making my stay comfortable, the Ostrom Workshop team, the other Fulbrighters hosted by Indiana University Bloomington, staff and instructors from REEI, the weekly group from the Romanian Language Hour, and many others.
My Fulbright experience was about connection, research resources, people, diversity, and self-empowerment. One of the best ways to fill six months, and I am really grateful for it!

My fulbright experience

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Students at the advising center

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