A Year in the Fulbright Life: Rajaie’s Story

3 min readJan 18, 2023

A Year in the Fulbright Life is a blog serie about showcasing a handful of students as they study in the United States. Each month, spotlighted students share an update as they continue on their Fulbright journey.

October/November 2022

My last month and a half have been packed with lots of schoolwork and fun activities. I was able to continue exploring the beautiful nature of Virginia by going on a few camping and hiking trips in the area.

Peaks of Otter National Park, Virginia

I also was able to experience many “firsts” in the United States. Firstly, I attended my first Halloween costume party dressed as an Arab pirate with a Jordanian twist. Secondly, I attended my first college football game, and finally I went to my first Thanksgiving dinner!

Experiencing my first Halloween costume party and my first football game

During Thanksgiving break, I shared the Jordanian dish “shushbarak” at an international Thanksgiving dinner held by a local church. While there, I shared both Jordanian food and culture, and I was able to learn about many other regions’ foods and cultures!

Thanksgiving and shushbarak

This fall, I was lucky enough to be here for Virginia Tech’s 150th anniversary! Fireworks lit up the sky, giving a mesmerizing show above the campus.

Virginia Tech’s 150th anniversary

As a bonus, I had the opportunity to volunteer (with the help of my wife) to give a lecture to the class that I serve as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for. The lecture explained the biology and practice of using the Electrocardiogram (EKG) that the students had to build for the class. We even had the chance to demonstrate the EKG I built as a TA. It was a very fun and enriching experience to get to interact with United States and international students alike in a classroom setting.

EKG Heart Monitoring Circuit
Testing the EKG

December 2022

More recently, I got to celebrate the joy of Christmas by attending a lovely Christmas orchestra performance at the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech. It was a magical experience, and it felt like a great way to wrap up the semester. I look forward to whatever Fulbright has set for me next!

Christmas orchestra performance at the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech

Rajaie is a first-year Fulbright student from Jordan. He is studying Engineering at Virginia Tech.

Follow updates from Rajaie and other Fulbright students on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Check back here every month for more updates on the blog and Medium Series to see what Rajaie does this year!