Less than a week after my arrival, after staying up late dealing with a broken water pipe and getting up at the crack of dawn to stand in line at the Foreign Police office, I participated in an international conference. I was completely exhausted and the conference went until 9pm – but it was also fantastic.
I met with academics in social work, sociology, and law from all over Europe, learning about their social welfare systems and about foster care (my research topic). I heard lectures from professors from: Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Russia, Romania, Italy, France, Portugal, UK, the Czech Republic, and from a member of the EU parliament. I found the talks about Russia and Romania to the be most interesting, but all were good. I came away with a lot of business cards and connections. One person told me of a colleague doing similar work as me in the Netherlands and when I gave her my info, she came to me the next day and said her colleague already knew of me and had read my work. I can’t wait to connect with her – when I have a moment to catch my breath.