The “Best” Advice I received about the Ph.D.

I just finished an interview about my experience as a graduate student at the University of Michigan…and I recalled a piece of advice from one of my graduate professors at Georgia Tech “There are 3 things that you need when choosing a lab, do not compromise. You must be excited about your project, enjoy the lab…

Writer’s Block for a Scientist?

I have a blog post to write for the Fulbright Program. It reminds me that, other than writing poetry/spoken word, I (we) don’t really get opportunities to do creative/thoughtful /non-science writing as scientists unless we actively seek it.   I’ve been putting this off – because there’s no deadline lol. But writing is a craft…

I’m Featured! Fulbright Belgium YouTube

Hey, hey lovely people! I’m featured on Fulbright Belgium’s YouTube channel!! I had an opportunity to interview with them to discuss my experiences as a Fulbright research grantee. If you follow my blog/vlog, you’ll recognize some of the stories in my interview but I also touch on some new gems! Watch my interview with Fulbright Belgium…

Do NOT set yourself up for the okey doke with ING Belgium

Okay so… I check my bank accounts on a regular basis (daily, on average). Tell *claps* me *claps* why *claps* *smacks* …I log into my ING account to see a nice lil 100 EUR fee taken from my account? Spoiler Alert – Main point of this post: AS SOON AS YOU START THE RESIDENT CARD…

I Love my Lab

One of my friends in lab brought me a gift from Lebanon. There is a large Lebanese community in Belgium, and two of my friends in lab have invited me to Lebanese events to learn more about their culture. The food is amazing and I learned a Dabke dance, a dope traditional lebanese dance. Fittingly,…

How Do I File My Taxes!?!?!?!?

If you’re a graduate student, a Fulbrighter, a BAEF fellow or the recipient of any other scholarship/fellowship in a research based program and you don’t know sh** about taxes…this post is for you! *Please be aware that this post regards the 2016-2017 tax season. While the rules are unlikely to change, always confirm that you…

Home Sweet Home

Hey friends! I want to share a quick update about how I’m doing. I’ve been home in the U.S. for ~2 weeks and it’s wonderful to be home. Due to bad weather I had to reschedule my flight back to Belgium twice which afforded me a few extra days at home. I’ve felt deeply saddened by…

Pros and Cons of the Fulbright Program

Someone messaged me on Instagram today asking “How is the Fulbright program? I’m considering it. Pros, cons?” If you have a passion for traveling, living abroad, learning about and integrating yourself into a new culture, and a meaningful project that will benefit the world, yes, you should absolutely apply for a Fulbright. For those who…

Some people are confused about what I’m doing

Today someone asked me “is it required for you to do a year abroad before your Ph.D.?” and I answered “No.” Then I thought to myself, that’s a great idea, and said “it should be!” When people (here in Belgium) realize that I’m not officially a Ph.D. student, but I have my Master’s degree, and…

Wait… how do you have TWO fellowships?

I get this question a lot: Wait… you have two fellowships? Are you paid by both? I didn’t know you could have both. Answer: Yup, I surely do. Yes, you surely can. Here’s a valuable life lesson I (re)learned at Northwestern’s Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) 20th Annual  Graduate Research Conference in April 2017; ask for what…