Well good news!!
Today, I have something original and relevant to tell you about!! Thanks to my brother, and one of his very very kind colleague, I can here present to you... Tadaaaaaaam... my very first expat interview!! Since I am very lucky (and a cheat, as well), it should be the first one of a series of at least 5, most of which will be of members of my family, who will answer my questions in French. I hope you'll find this first one as interesting as I did! The questions were answered in English by Mr Narcis Popescu, a graduate research assistant at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, who comes from Romania. (I did not even need to translate them, how about that?!)
1. Why have you gone to an english-speaking country ?
Most of the recent high-profile work in our field (Biomedical Research) is published in English, therefore this was a language that I needed to understand and be able to communicate in if I were to follow the career path that I have chosen. As a result, English became the foreign language that I improved the most and was most comfortable with, and consequently English-speaking countries were the first option when looking for study opportunities abroad. From my experience, knowing the language of the country gives you a much better chance for integration.
2. Have you had any difficulties there ? (integration, paperwork, etc...)
I myself do not consider that I had difficulties adapting here. Nevertheless I do not consider it to be an easy process, everything (integration, paperwork, etc.) takes time and effort but I find it similar to, but definitely slower than, moving into a new situation/environment even inside your own country. Even in Romania I moved around, getting into different places and environments, so I had my share of adaptation processes, but here it was much slower and required much more effort than back home. As long as you don't give up, you'll be all right in the end.
3. What are your two favorite aspects of american culture ? Two worst aspects?
This is kind of a trick questions that I never took the time to really analyze. Out of the hat, I would say that I like the most the diversity and the drive towards efficiency, while on the other side I don't like the exacerbated competition around here (the other side of the coin for the drive for efficiency you might say) and the individualism.
4. Do you think your experience would have been different had you been of a different nationality ?
That depends. I don't think nationality had the most influence over my experiences around here. Provided that I would have come from a similar background (Christian, southeastern Europe) I think I would have had a similar experience. Nevertheless, coming from a totally different region, like Western Europe, Asia or Africa, being Christian or not, I think that would have changed a lot of the integration process and the experiences lived so far.
5. Overall (personal and professional), would you say your stay abroad was good/bad ? Would you like to stay there in the future ?
Definitely my experience abroad was, and still is, good. I think it helped me grow a lot, professionally and personally. Nevertheless the second part of your question is not easy to answer. I will stay and continue my training here even after finishing my present studies, but in the long run I haven't decided yet. At this time the balance inclines towards getting as much experience as I can here, in the US, then implement my experiences in Romania and continue my career there.
There you go reader!! I would like to take the opportunity to thank Mr Popescu once again for his time and kindness!! And my brother, of course, for passing on my little questionnaire!! I guess that's it for tonight, though please, don't hesitate to leave comments, if you see a way for me to improve my questionnaire! Good night, reader!!