Be bold. Being a Fulbrighter requires being bold above anything else. During my year in Singapore, the simple act of saying “yes” led to an amazing range of experiences: preparing dumplings by hand for Chinese New Year, running an ultra-marathon, creating many strong relationships that made me feel at home halfway around the world, and yes, eating sambal (barbeque) stingray.
As a researcher, I was studying dengue virus and how it morphs from a non-infectious to an infectious state. By itself, the project was quite technical and could have remained as an isolated series of laboratory experiments. However, by reaching out to the local public health officials, I gained insight into the effects of the disease from a social perspective and was able to contextualize my results in a broader picture. Relationships made in the lab also led to new collaborations, which led to the aforementioned holiday dumpling cooking sessions.