Mihai Bogdan Iovu

Fulbright Student, 2010-2011

One month in USA...Everything's moving so fast...the people, the cars, even the time... you have to keep up. As a European at first you try to do everything fast in order to feel American, but then you realize that you aren't American and you need to stop acting as one. So I did. After speeding on the 5th gear by drinking coffee on the street, eating bagels, drinking large portions of coke and having large portions of hamburgers, I had to stop and continue on 1st gear. So, this is how the first month looks like in slow motion:

New York...love at first sight. You read about NY, you see the city in the movies you create that "empire state of mind"...but when you get there you feel so small. Lots of people on the streets, lots of languages, and lots of colors...you try to listen carefully to see if you hear some Romanian or to look at the people to see if you can recognize someone. None of these has happened yet and I keep trying. I mean, you need resolutions in big cities. That's mine!

Philadelphia...all I knew about was the Bruce Springsteen's song (1993) – and by the way he's from New Jersey. It appeared to me as an historical city but as American history is not as close to me as European one, I did not get into the mood. It is a different city, but all I could relate to was just "The Rocky"...I was raised with movies on my VCR recorder.

New Brunswick (NJ)...that's home to me for the next year. Small city, university city, but not as big as Cluj-Napoca. No bagels here, no extra portions of pizza, no coffee to go...just coffee on my balcony and looking at these running people. Two key-points of my staying here: International Study Abroad Fair (where the school presented the offer of studying abroad). I had the chance to speak about Romania, talking students to come to Romania in a Summer school programme and probably meet some of the future attendees. And the second one, GSAPP Cultural Conference. As a social worker I need to improve my working skills in a multicultural environment as Romania might become in the near future. The key-point of presentations, "Coming out, coming home: helping families adjust to a gay or lesbian child"...a tabu subject in Romania.

My fulbright experience

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Students at the advising center

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