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In Florida with Fulbright

It never occurred to me for all these years to write a book or an e-book about those years regarding my foreign adventures. I found a picture one night 12 years after my Florida trip. It took me a long time to recollect exactly where and when this picture was taken. I was a little shocked, since I had so many awesome and intensive experiences that enriched my life during those two years. What if there comes a time when all my experiences have become so vague that there are only sentimental pictures that remain and I will not be able to tell my story of those two years to my children.

I decided to write out all my thoughts, so that at least those memories that are still vivid now will remain for a while. All the old pictures, documents, maps and other miscellaneous items brought the old memories back to the forefront. I was able to relive the places, even though they were only memories that I lived through over a decade ago. Of course at this time, I had no idea that my past would some day be publicized for others to read.

After I made my decision, my mood has suddenly changed and I became more energized and happy. There were people who asked what happened to me, since they see me smiling constantly. On one occasion, I talked to an acquaintance of mine when my tongue slipped: he found out that I have an impending "publication" regarding my Florida trip. He was constantly nudging me until he succeeded in finally persuading me to send him my handwritten notes.

He called me a couple of days later and was ready to jump out of his skin from the excitement saying: "Atti, this is fantastic - super-good!" His excitement and exuberance really surprised me. He continued with "you have to publish this; this has to go into production! Other than the fact that this is not an everyday narration, it is simply full of so much information that is assembled all in one place, which cannot be found anywhere." Thus, it suddenly occurred to me for the first time that it might be worth sharing my story with others.

This e-book is a narration about my fantastic trip, experiences, about Florida, Gainesville, my American college life, and about many other numerous subjects. I was a student on a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida for 1-1/2 years. If you find yourself answering "yes" to only a couple of the following questions, then it will be worth your while to read this story:

- Would you like to know more about the USA, Florida?
- Would you like to get a realistic assessment of life there?
- Are you curious to know what Americans are really like?
- Would you like to learn if it is worth going through the application process for a foreign scholarship, such as the Fulbright?
- Are you curious to know what to expect when you take the TOEFL examination?
- Would you like to know what it takes to apply for a foreign scholarship?
- Is it worth getting a doctorate degree?
- And much, much more information that is available on 255 pages…

I always did like to travel, although I was not successful in doing that as much as I would have liked. While I was only a child, I always dreamed of traveling in foreign lands, although not as much to Europe, but as to America, which is what popped into my mind most often. My other major dream was about becoming a researcher and I imagined myself in my mind's eye already at age 10 in a white lab coat behind the microscope. The road was very long and tiresome, but the two things: 1) the Fulbright scholarship 2) and living in Florida have united into one huge reality for me. Although I wrote many scientific articles, dissertations, diplomate work and other miscellaneous literature, I never wrote a book with such magnitude. It was no wonder that as I started writing my first couple of sentences and as I was contemplating about the title of this document that nothing worthwhile came to my mind at the time, which is the reason why my first title for the first couple of sentences was called "do not know what to write about.doc".

My book consists of my handwritten notes regarding the first two most exciting years of my life. It all ended a long time ago, but the memories linger on vividly to this day; and I wake up every morning with hopes that it will continue soon one day again …

Caution! Do not let the American lifestyle and Florida's natural beauty "infect" you too! Read this only if you have the courage to fight the feelings that you would like to be there, but for some reason do not have the opportunity to make it come true!


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