Weeks 1 & 2

Aug 22, 2014

It's been ten days since my arrival in the US. Ten days so busy that it seems to me that I've been here for at least a month. On the first morning when I entered my unfurnished apartment, I thought I would never furnish it! But thanks to Janis, my amazing, amazing host, only four days later my apartment already felt like home. Those first four days were all about the bare necessities - buying an inflatable mattress to sleep on until I get a proper bed, buying kitchen stuff, pillows, comforters (even though I still don't quite get the difference between a duvet and a comforter, I bought a nice zebra patterned comforter), visiting yard sales and giveaways (my first yard sale ever).

Also, getting my student ID, opening a bank account, getting a new sim card and finding a plan that will allow me to be connected on the go, registering my computer for the use in my apartment are just a few things that we managed to do successfully during the first week. Our three wonderful coordinators, Jane, Leila and Talat took great care of all of us and made sure it all went smoothly.

The second week was about getting to know the campus, classes to choose from and  team building. My fellows Humphrey Fellows :-) are all wonderful people and we get on really well. We gave short 15-minute presentations to get to know each other, went to Milbrook Marsh and Niagara Falls and had a lot of fun together. I even managed to overcome my fear of sleeping in outside corridor motels.

The only thing missing is my family.

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship about to begin

Aug 11, 2014

My Humphrey Fellowship officially begins tomorrow. I'm about to embark on a new ten-month learning journey at the Pennsylvania State University, one of the leading US universities. I'm thrilled  to take part in this year's program at the College of Education along with 9  fellows from 8 countries. We're part of a 2014/2015 cohort of 150 fellows from all over the world. As I'm the first Croatian school teacher to have been selected for this prestigious scholarship, I'm going to blog about my year as a Humphrey Fellow as often as possible.

So I'm writing this pre-departure post from my home in Zagreb. My bags are all packed and yes, I've packed everything but the kitchen sink, which was actually quite easy. But parting from my family is not easy at all, it's unbearable! But I'm sure we'll manage to go through it.

The Future is now

May 31, 2014

I gave my first plenary to an audience of 300 educators at the eTwinning / SIRikt conference in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, yesterday. Before I got on the stage, seeing 300 people in the huge conference hall sounded intimidating for a shy speaker like me, but once I started my talk I felt more confident and happy to be there.  Another great thing was involving the audience in my talk with the interactive Kahoot quizzes and the response I got was terrific.

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