Thank you to everyone who followed or read my blog posts. This summer was a pilot project to see how committed I could be to blogging, and to see if I had content relevant and significant to post. I am no blog master and I know there is need for improvement, but it did give me motivation to want to continue for Fulbright. My goal during the summer months was to highlight the new international pharmacy rotation and delve into blogging, social media, etc. Turns out I like it a lot!
For those who do not know, I will be completing my 2017-2018 Fulbright Grant in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (no surprise!). I will be assessing smoking cessation education of medical and pharmacy students at the Babes-Bolyai Medical and Pharmacy Faculty. I am really excited about this project because I will be using different forms of participant recruitment and hopefully will be able to build relationships with researchers, faculty, and students. This will be a continuation of my work from my Masters of Public Health practicum project I completed this summer in Cluj, where I assessed knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of smoking cessation among community pharmacists. The data did tell me that there is a gap in smoking cessation education at least among students that attend the pharmacy school in Cluj-Napoca. I’m crossing my fingers that this project will be a success and that everything goes smoothly! My project from this summer was just accepted into the European Clinical Pharmacy Conference in Heidelberg, Germany in October! I am hoping that through this experience and the Fulbright I can develop new skills that will help me with my future career.
The hardest part of the whole Fulbright preparation was looking for an apartment and applying for a residence card. Even though I have been to Romania a couple of times and I feel relatively comfortable, living by myself in a foreign country is a new concept. Luckily, most apartments in Cluj are fully furnished so that relieved me. I also have the best landlords and live down the street from the most delicious restaurant, Rochelle’s (which I went to 4 times in one week…yumm!). Applying for a residence card was incredibly stressful because of the language barrier. Most of the documents I had to acquire involved interactions with people who did not know English as well, which is fine. However, it made me realize how much I really want to learn Romanian and eliminate the awkwardness and obnoxious hand gestures. So as soon as I return, language lessons will commence!
I return to Cluj-Napoca on September 28th for nine months. Being in another country for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years will be difficult, but I have such a great support system that will not let me be sad. I am curious about how this experience will change me and my future. This past summer I did not feel different, but I know changes did occur. Not that every time I go abroad I have these miraculous revelations, but nine months in Romania, a year off of pharmacy school, and more exposure to public health may direct me down a very different path.
Over the next few weeks, I will be posting updates as I prepare to leave for Fulbright. Follow my Instagram stories (@frisbeegurl16) and blog to get a firsthand look! A video will be posted in a week or so highlighting the first few months of this summer, which included my pharmacy rotation and some trips.
Until next time!