My primary purpose for going to US university was to perform the research toward the development of novel real-world gas analyzing micro-nanosystems using recently discovered quasi one-dimensional oxide nanowires. Indeed, the host USA university laboratory (http://www.physics.siu.edu/people/kolmakov/) is one of the pioneers in development of such nanostructures and the placement was considered to be very effective. From my experience I knew that it takes usually some time to find your place in the host institution, to overcome some barriers in communication, to prove own profit to colleagues, etc. But to my surprise, I found out that Americans are easier communicating and do not usually build any artificial barriers. So, I have been easily involved into the local lab activities and really enjoyed working there. Some our preliminary published findings found a great interest from mass media (for example, http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=3331.php).
My host university, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC), is located far away from large cities. This area could be called as a rural one.
However, the local life quality is almost the same as one in large cities. Moreover, the pleasant advantage of this place is that the high technical civilization is neighbored by wild nature. First time cycling to the university I was shocked seeing deer staying nearby the road and no worrying about people or cars going around! In addition to deer we could meet coons, skunks, squirrels, beavers, tortoises and, of course, many kinds of birds (of blue, red, black/white, etc colors). The place should be really attractive not only for physicists but for biologists, too.
The host university has a number of sport facilities including a large recreation centre where we could take an activity in different kinds of sports.
The high contrast to rural America where we lived are US cities which people from abroad are usually familiar with by watching US movies. Due to the Fulbright Metro Enrichment Program, we have got a chance to visit Chicago, one of the US largest cities. 100- and higher stories buildings are really impressive when you see them closely. Well, United States is indeed a country of contrasts!
During the Fulbright placement, I have got a chance to attend International Meeting conference on Chemical Sensors taking place in Ohio State University (Columbus), which is the largest university in USA.
Completing this brief photo story about my Fulbright experience, I should mention that US universities attract people from the entire world and could be called as real international centers. So, I really enjoyed this international background which helped to advance knowledge and scientific qualification in my scientific area and to acquire a broad vision at the general human society.