Growing up I was always interested in traveling abroad. As I entered my second year of medical school, I was filled with regret about not pursuing any opportunities to go abroad while I was an undergraduate and again after graduation. Around the same time, I received an email from Drexel’s Fellowships Office announcing the opening of a Fulbright application. I decided to look into it and realized that this was the opportunity I had been looking for. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program enables students to take on research of their choice for one school year in almost any part of the world. I decided to apply. The scholarship was very competitive and the process was very arduous; however, Drexel had a plethora of resources that assisted me along the process. Consequently, I believe the ability of getting a Fulbright proposal approved lies in the ability to demonstrate the feasibility of one’s project. It also depends on the mutual exchange of culture and information that will occur between the U.S. and the respective country where the Fulbright will be carried at as a result of the project.
Nigeria is a developing nation, and Lagos, the city where I stayed, is the most populated city in all of Africa. My time there was very memorable to say the least. In the bustling and unpredictable city, I had to quickly adapt to my surroundings and learn that things usually never go as planned. While in Lagos, Nigeria, I conducted public health research on sickle cell disorder and genotype errors. The findings were alarming and successfully started a discussion amongst the medical community in the city of Lagos. I am honored to have been able to contribute to an untapped topic of discussion in Nigeria, and I am excited to see what my research is able to contribute to society. Overall, I am thankful to Drexel University for helping me attain the Fulbright, and I’m grateful to Fulbright for providing me with such an awesome opportunity. Lastly, I’m appreciative to Nigeria for welcoming me with open arms. A long-standing relationship has definitely been established, and I will most certainly be back soon.