For the next year, Fulbright MENA will be showcasing a handful of students as they study in the United States with their new series, A Year in the Fulbright Life. Each month, spotlighted students will share an update as they continue on their Fulbright journey.
“Recently I volunteered at the Heart of Ghent 10k race in Norfolk, Virginia. Ghent is a very beautiful city and I always see people run here, but in this race, they ran for charity. One of the charities helps homeless children in Kenya. It was very fun, and I met a group of very nice Americans who I volunteered with. My favorite moment was when a runner would say thank you for the water that I gave out, even though she was exhausted from the race. It was such a nice day, and I loved being able to spend more time in my American community.”
One of my American friends, Taylor, recently took me to get ice cream at Coldstone so I could try homemade American ice cream! I’ve gone past the store a million times but never noticed the ice cream shop. Taylor has been a really great friend since I arrived. She introduces me to American culture, clarifies what I miss due to differences, and is also deeply interested in different cultures. I’m lucky to have such a great friend who helps take care of me when I need it!
This month our program went on a field trip to the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond. It was a two-hour drive, but the laboratories were amazing and definitely worth it. At the lab, they run experiments on bioterrorism, chemical weapons, food adulteration, and newborn screening. I really enjoyed my time with my classmates at the lab learning all about the work they do there.
“I went to the Hampton Roads Reptile Expo with my friend Taylor, where spiders, snakes, worms, and frogs were all on display. I saw plenty of snakes with gorgeous colors. Because of this experience, I was able to overcome my fear of animals and reptiles and even held a lizard! It was amazing.
This semester I asked for a rotation in Dr. Anca Dobrian’s lab to gain hands-on experience working on endothelial cells! I learned a lot and met such wonderful people in this lab. Dr. Dobrain is an excellent primary investigator and Bronson, her Ph.D. candidate, was an amazing instructor. By the end of the semester, Dr. Dobrian invited the lab students and techs to dinner at a Greek restaurant. Many of the meals had Middle Eastern and Egyptian elements, and it was the perfect end to a tedious semester.
Omnia is from Egypt and is studying Biotechnology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA.
Follow updates from Omnia and other Fulbright students on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Check back here every month for more updates on the blog and Medium Series to see what Omnia does this year!
You can view other Fulbright Life stories here: https://medium.com/@FulbrightMENA/