Maria Purcariu

Fulbright Student Researcher, 2018-2019

I embarked on the Fulbright journey to conduct research on how-to videos on YouTube at the University of Georgia (UGA) as part of my PhD thesis, but I eventually gained much more than just academic satisfaction.

I arrived in Athens right on time for the fall reception organized by the Georgia Chapter, where I easily integrated in the Fulbright family on the first encounter. This event was a good introduction into the following nine months, enabling me to learn more about the cultural diversity in the United States, but also on campus. UGA is one of the oldest public universities in the US, but also a prestigious institution that everyone seemed to have heard of every time I mentioned its name. I would describe it as a melting pot and I was proud to be part of it for an academic year.

The other events I attended during my program proved just as enriching. From a visit to the Consulate of Columbia in Atlanta, to a talk on STEM education at the Georgia Institute of Technology, I always found something new to learn. I was also lucky to participate in a Fulbright Enrichment Seminar on big data that was held in Philadelphia.

Academically speaking, this grant opened a lot of doors and helped me establish valuable connections. For me, having the opportunity to actually meet scholars whose papers I was previously reading or citing was equal to fulfilling a dream. And these people were easy to find at UGA. Every time I told someone about my research project, they also directed me towards somebody else, who was helpful in some way as well. I learnt a great deal from these scholars. As this self-help phenomenon was better observed in the US, I got the chance to exchange ideas with people with experience in education and the entertainment industry, my topic lying at the convergence of the two. Taking baby steps, I began by simply expressing my intent of studying these media texts in my host department, and I ended up walking around the YouTube headquarters on the other side of the North American continent, in California, a few months later. Overall, the environment was prolific for developing my project.

On a personal level, I travelled more than I thought I ever deserved and it would have not been possible without Fulbright. While the country is so large, I was surprised to see that every place I visited is unique. In this way, not only did I learn about American culture and the South in particular, but the people I came across just happened to be from everywhere around the world and a variety of backgrounds. What’s more, I often encountered unexpected situations that I eventually managed to overcome. This entire experience taught me about empathy, open-mindedness, adaptivity, and as a bonus, I improved my skills in other languages.

I left for the US with two suitcases of material things and their cost was determined by the weight, but the baggage of knowledge I took back home from this experience is priceless and unmeasurable.

My fulbright experience

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17

Students at the advising center

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

Romanian-U.S. Fulbright Commission

Adress: 2 Ing. Nicolae Costinescu Street, sector 1, Bucharest, Romania
Phone: 021.230.77.19
Fax: 021.230.77.38
E-mail: office@fulbright.ro

Privacy Policy

Fulbright Educational Advising Center

Phone: 021.231.90.15
E-mail: feac@fulbright.ro

 Public hours

Tuesday: 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM
 Wednesday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
 Thursday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM