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Adrian, Leiden University / Case Western Reserve University

My name is Adrian Palumbo, and I’m a Biochemistry major at Case Western Reserve University looking to go into graduate school. I was first attracted to the EuroScholars program because it seemed like it would help me answer some questions about grad school. I knew I wanted to pursue a Ph.D., but wasn’t sure exactly in what field, or whether I wanted to attend grad school in the U.S. or E.U. I had been doing research at my home university for two years at that point, studying how large ion channels found in the CNS are trafficked to the synapse, but was interested in trying something new. That's what first attracted me to Leiden University, characterizing the response of virulent mycobacteria to various sterol compounds. Through this experience, I was able to refine what I wanted to focus on in my future career and gain clarity on these decisions.

I also enjoyed living in the Netherlands much more than I expected. The ease of transportation allowed me to travel to many cities and experience all the elements of Dutch Culture. I even picked up a bit of Dutch through a class with the Academic Language Center, gaining A1 proficiency with the language. Learning a new language definitely increased my sympathies/understanding of those learning my own language as well. I spent much time socializing with other international and exchange students through ESN Leiden, and I shared many good memories with everyone there. One of the main ways we connected was the music, many of us met up in the common room every Saturday and just jammed together. A few of us even performed a couple times at a local bar, which was an incredible experience in a country so far from home. 

I would highly recommend the EuroScholars program for anyone looking to go into academia. I greatly enjoyed my time in it, and benefited greatly. Since returning, I honestly wish I was able to research abroad for the entire year, not just a semester. I didn’t want to return home after such a short time, and wish I had longer to experience living abroad and connecting with the local community. This experience is something that has shaped my professional career, and I’ll remember fondly for a long time.