Mohid Weekly – Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship (3)

Bericht von START-Wien Stipendiat Mohid von seinem USA-Aufenthalt im Rahmen des Benjamin Franklin Fellowship Programs 2022.

Vielen Dank an die US Embassy Vienna für die bereits langjährige Ermöglichung und Unterstützung der Teilnahme von START-Stipendiat:innen bei diesem einzigartigen Programm!

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A new module started with the new week: Media and Journalism. This only lasted two days, but was very rich in content and intense. What is disinformation? What is fake news? How do I manipulate images? These issues were discussed in detail. What I found very exciting was thinking about how the media can overthrow or support democracies. After class, my host mom took me to Mackey Arena, Purdue University’s basketball arena. It was gigantic! The Purdue basketball team has received countless trophies and medals. Top players have played for it. The International Food Night took place on Tuesday evening. After much deliberation, I decided to bake a chocolate cake. I had never baked before and when I presented the cake nobody believed me that I did it. My friends thought that I bought it from the supermarket and finally presented them. I assume that was a compliment. My colleagues had created chaos in the kitchen. I prepared my cake the night before, but they started three hours before dinner! After the event we had to clean the entire kitchen together and put things in order. The BFTF Fellows know who was in command of this work

Not just me, but everyone was looking forward to the next day because we had a Chicago tour ahead of us. Our city tour started with a boat tour on the Chicago River. During this, the tour guide told us about the architecture of different skyscrapers. It was admirable. Just unbelievable. To make the Chicago experience even more memorable, I ate deep dish pizza with my friends. Total overwhelm. Afterwards we went to the famous Navy Pier. From the drop tower I could see the infinity of Lake Michigan. I must admit, that’s when I felt like I’d arrived in America. I had a great day and the next was physically demanding. Because it was about the Community Service Day. The Fellows were led to the shelter of homeless people. Here we had to split up into groups and do different activities, such as collecting garbage, painting walls, etc. My team was responsible for cutting the bushes. And again, I’ve never done this before. I love it when BFTF encourages fellows to do what they’ve never done before. In the evening, my host family took me to a bison park. We even fed them! Welcome to America.

The Fellows had been preparing for their project presentation for days. One of the goals of this institute is to inspire fellows to identify a problem in their society and then develop a solution. One has to present this. If this is convincing, you will receive an amount to complete the project. Working in a group is appreciated. In the evening a friend asked me if I could join her and others for roller skating. It was a roller-skating hall with music, but darkened and disco lights appearing from somewhere. I had no prior roller-skating experience. Luckily a friend helped me and suddenly I could! It was an unforgettable evening. Thanks to everyone who took part.

Since my host mom makes sure I have a wonderful American experience, she took me to the cinema, but not a regular one, but a drive-in. That means there is a big screen outside, and you sit in the car and watch the film. The reason I value my host family is because they cater to my needs. On Sunday, the last day, she showed us Ross-Ade Stadium, well-known in Indiana for American football. And here comes the best part: we got to visit a synagogue. Because I am interested in Jewish culture, I expressed this wish and was able to ask the rabbi several questions. I also gained a lot of knowledge. Like the last two weeks, I enjoyed this week too.

My Norwegian friend asked me to mention her on this blog. Well, she’s the nicest person I’ve met. Very intelligent and creative. It will be fun with you in Philly and DC!