For the next year, Fulbright MENA will be showcasing a handful of students as they study in the United States with their new series, A Year in the Fulbright Life. Each month, spotlighted students will share an update as they continue on their Fulbright journey.
Arrived at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine where I’ll spend most of my time and which happens to be located on Canal St in beautiful New Orleans!”
I always dreamed about living in a city where I can bike to school/work, and now I have the chance to do that in New Orleans! Got my bike and I’m all set and ready to go in my new city!
I watched my first football game at Tulane’s Yulman Stadium! Our team, Tulane Green Wave, unfortunately lost, but it was a lot of fun and everyone was cheering them on from the first second until the last. It was also my first time to go tailgating, where people get together hours before the game with drinks and food provided to set the mood.
Halloween in New Orleans is a unique experience. Everyone here takes festivals seriously and celebrates them hard! All the houses started decorating two weeks before Halloween and their decorations were amazing. Some houses do elaborate designs for the tourists on St. Charles Street every year.
It has been non-stop here with all the school work and settling in. Luckily, the Thanksgiving break allowed me some free time. I explored more of New Orleans with some friends who came to visit and we went to the famous sculpture garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
I also had a chance to practice more cooking! One of my goals coming to the U.S. is to develop my cooking skills as much as possible. I cooked, baked, and even made gumbo with my roommate!
Finally done with the semester and taking a break by traveling around the United States to New York, Chicago, and Nebraska to visit some friends. I have never seen a frozen lake before as the temperature dropped to -9 F (-23 C) degrees!
January is the start of festivities building up to Mardi Gras, starting with the King Cake festival! Bakeries from all around New Orleans participate and people vote on their favorite King Cake. I sampled 10 different flavors with different dough and colorful toppings which left me with quite a sugar rush. Since it was New Orleans, there was also live music of course!
It’s finally Mardi Gras! New Orleans takes festivities seriously and Mardi Gras is the biggest of them all. With parades every weekend and daily parades on Mardi Gras week, people from all over come and cheer the floats on. The floats throw beads to the crowds, and I caught so many that I was barely able to take my haul home! It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait for next year to do it again.
The festival season is still going strong in New Orleans, and I got to experience the French Quarter Festival! It has live music, great food and drinks, and sunny weather. Best thing about it? It’s free!
It was also the season for crawfish, lots of crawfish! I went to Tulane’s Crawfish Festival and had lots to eat.
My fellow Fulbrighter and friend KT came to visit and I had a chance to show him around before our finals. We had the Louisiana crayfish omelette with biscuit and gravy at Surrey’s .
After finishing my finals, I headed to Houston to start my summer internship at MD Anderson Cancer Center. It’s the number one cancer center in the United States and is located in the largest medical campus in the world (the Texas Medical Center)! I’m very excited about working there and exploring Houston!
Zeyad is a second-year Fulbrighter from Jordan working on his MHA in Health Administration. He’s currently a student at Tulane University.
Follow updates from Zeyad 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 Zeyad does this year!
Read more Fulbright stories here.