So, I am back in Norway now, and I have filled out the final report for Fulbright, effectively putting an end to this experience and this blog, though I will update on the upcoming culture shock and depression I know is bound to come in a month or two 🙂
One of the questions in the final report – and my answer – was this:
Reflect on your Fulbright experience and whether you feel it has played or will play a transformative role in your life, either professionally or personally. Please explain, commenting on the elements of your experience that have made the most compelling impact on you (and/or your family). (Type or paste a response of up to 32,000 characters.)
This year was critical for me professionally – I have met fantastic colleages and learned so much. I have so many new contancts that are critical for me in these formative years of my career. I have learned about international collaborations and gotten access to scholars who would elsewise never have known about me – or cared to get to know me. My family is more tight knit than ever, and all my three children speak FLUENT english and have also made friends for life (as have I personally). I will always have a hollowness in my heart for having had to leave the amazing people that became part of our lives – but I will always treasure all the love and fulfillment they have given us. After all – it is a tough choice for these people to open their hearts and homes to us when they know so well that we are not there to stay.