My research visit to UC Berkeley has come to an end. Needless to say, time has gone by so fast, but above all, this time has been filled with unforgettable memories with family and (new) friends, interesting research insights, and positive energy.
Throughout the Spring I participated in biweekly paper development meetings at the sociology department. It was directed mainly at doctoral students to help them develop their thesis manuscripts to publishable articles. I learned about many fascinating and societally relevant research topics: how private universities operate as tax havens, how big political struggles end up producing small fish, how cultural taste matters in reprocing inequality.
The most insightful thing for me was, however, to observe how everyone including both professors and doctoral students committed to this seminar, read everyone’s paper, and provided very constructive feedback. I learned how important it is to be interested in other people’s research in order to think together and help people to develop, and how this can be encouraged within a research community.
It was great to experience such an intelligent and super encouraging atmosphere!
I will miss conversations with some very nice people I met at ISSI. They would always ask how I was doing, how the family was, and whether we were enjoying our time in Berkeley. They would be willing to help with any question I had. I learned about research being done in the fields of political history, labor studies, linguistics, and bioethics.
I will miss jogging in the hills, hanging out with the friends we made, exploring new lunch places, going to numerous playgrounds, taking my kids to school and daycare, talking with random people in grocery strores, and many many more things.
Saying goodbye to people and places we became attached to hasn’t been easy. But before we leave America, we have one more thing to experience. We will drive thru the country.
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