Fulbright Enrichment Seminars: Learning about Environmental Sustainability in Phoenix

Phoenix Enrichment Seminar 14-17 February 2013.   During the first semester I received an invitation from the Institute of International Education to apply to participate in one of the ten 2013 Fulbright Enrichment Seminars for first-year Fulbright grantees. The space to attend a seminar was limited, but I was lucky to be selected to attend my first choice Seminar topic ‘Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability – Global Challenges and Local Solutions’ held in Phoenix, Arizona.   At the opening night we had a tour of the Phoenix botanical garden and an introductory lecture about the water issues Phoenix is facing. The second day a panel discussion presented us climate change mitigation and sustainable projects and actions in Phoenix and Arizona State. In the afternoon we received a short Entrepreneurship Master class and our 2-day workshop exercise was presented. We were divided in groups that each had to come up with an inventive solution for a specific societal problem. Our group proposed a solar-energy electric bike-system for Phoenix city.   Two other interesting activities were also part of the seminar. During the hospitality evening, Wesley (the other Belgian Student in the seminar) and I had a pleasant dinner night with two gentlemen, one Belgian and one French, who have been living in Phoenix for a long time. On Saturday morning we had a community service project in which our group removed invasive plants in a local wetland.   In general I must say that the atmosphere during the seminar was fantastic!  It was an amazing experience to meet so many students and scholars from all around the world (+/- 75 different countries represented), who are all studying in different parts of the US. The Seminar definitely met its goal to increase mutual understanding between people from the US and other countries, as well as to learn about other regions in the US.   Phebe Dudek KUL Master in Architectural Engineering M.I.T. SMArchS Architecture and Urbanism 2014   ]]>