Ionuț Geană

Fulbright Visiting Scholar, 2017-2018

It’s kind of hard for me to start talking about my Fulbright experience, as it ended quite recently and I don’t want to accept it yet. First of all, there’re plenty of clichés running through my head. My Fulbright experience was both influential and life changing on so many levels, to the point that – although I am a man of letters – words are not enough to describe my feelings. In what follows, I’ll try to explain what being a Fulbrighter in New York meant to me.

At a professional level, I was in touch with leading names in world linguistics. Famous professors, whose work I had been acquainted with before joining the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York, were standing before me in flesh and bones and we could exchange ideas, share knowledge and input on various topics. Also, without having to, I sat in some of their classes, and I sure had a lot of things to learn. I was aware that the American academic system is somehow different from the European (and Romanian) one, so I believe now I am better equipped to meet the ever more demanding requirements of teaching at the university level. My research went smooth and in a somehow different note than expected (it is hard to get access to heritage speakers), but in the end I managed to get the data I needed in the time I allotted.

Other than my professional interests, my Fulbright experience included flabbergasting moments related to everything New York City has to offer: (off-)Broadway shows, museums (particularly MOMA, where students and scholars get free admission, or the Met), all sort of artistic events (both conventional and unconventional, in both conventional and unconventional places), etc. But my favorite part was the Met Opera House, I would say the most famous in the world. Although I am more of an opera enthusiast than a ‘hardcore’ fan, the Met is just amazing! To have almost five thousand people enjoying some of the most prestigious plays (opera and ballet) is unforgettable! For me, seeing Anna Netrebko live was a dream come true.

Apart from the Fulbright support, all this was possible through organizations such as IIE and One to World, who offered free or discounted tickets and tours to various places. I am nothing but grateful for all their staff and volunteers.

All in all, I am strongly convinced that Fulbright changed me as a person. I was so honored to live in US and be a part of the country that I’ve always loved from the movies since I was a child in communist Romania. The grace period allowed me to travel across US and to discover absolutely formidable places and people. And then, it is Fulbright and the United States of America who allowed me to be and feel happy and normal!

Thank you, Fulbright!

My fulbright experience

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Students at the advising center

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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

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

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