I arrived in the US on July 1st 2014 and have enjoyed spending 8 months at Yale University. Being allowed to carry out research at Yale has been an intense and rewarding learning experience. I have gained detailed insight into the field of genetic epidemiology and feel more confident about working on similar projects in the future and about sharing my experience with my Norwegian colleagues. I found the level of skill and knowledge at Yale impressive, both among my supervisor and my peers. I also enjoyed going to the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics, an experience that gave insight into several aspects of the field and helped in illustrating the variety of tools available for genetic research and how the field is moving forwards.
New Haven is a small city by American standards, and feels smaller than Norwegian cities of the same population size. There is a great culinary diversity which is very enjoyable and the presence of the Yale campus in the downtown area adds a historic feel even if the campus buildings are newer than they appear. Living in a community with quite high crime rates was a new experience even if I have lived abroad before. Yale has good services with shuttles, campus security, emergency phones and door to door transport at night. Still, not being able to walk outside in less populated areas at night because of security concerns was still a new experience and felt somewhat restricting. To some extent it emphasized the differences in social situation the American society and also some of the differences between Norwegian and American societies.
I have met warm and welcoming American people during the stay here and I have also enjoyed being part of an international community at Yale. I believe that as Norwegians we have something to learn from the spontaneous American hospitality, and I will strive to offer visitors to Norway the same hospitality that I was shown when coming to the United States.
I am very grateful for my Fulbright experience and would strongly recommend this to other students and researchers.