Dan Domocoș

Fulbright Student Researcher, 2017-2018

Ten months in California

After spending almost 10 months in Davis, California on a Fulbright scholarship I can confidently say that it was one of the most enriching experiences, both on an academic level and, maybe more important, on a personal level. Even though I lived abroad before, my status as a Fulbright scholar helped me adopt a better attitude in my everyday life and made it so much easier to interact with other people.

For the purpose of this statement I can divide my experience in academic and personal endeavours. Firstly, the laboratory of Distinguished Professor Earl Carstens, where I conducted my neurobiology studies, was very welcoming, well founded and strongly connected with laboratories from the United States, Europe and Asia. Secondly, the amount of resources and know-how that I had access to widened my perspective as a young researcher. I also got the chance to visit other stat of the art laboratories and I was trained in new techniques that I am implementing now in my laboratory from Bucharest.

On a personal level I had the pleasure of visiting significant landmarks in California; I discussed my studies at a famous conference in Washington and did scuba diving in Hawaii. I got the chance to attend lectures at renowned universities and present my research at the most prestigious meetings in the field of Neuroscience. I met a lot of interesting fellow fulbrighters, researchers, professors and made connections in both academia and industry.

Even though I was a foreigner I never felt left behind. On the contrary, the community was eager to learn about me and my country. I found it interesting to accommodate in a place like California where almost everyone was relaxed, optimistic and enthusiastic.

Even if sometimes I felt homesick or lonely, I remembered that a new experience is better than no experience and that by dealing with unexpected circumstances I will get to know myself better. All in all I consider myself lucky and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to live in California, conduct research in one of the most prestigious universities and meet interesting people from all around the world.

My fulbright experience

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Students at the advising center

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