Back at the British Museum as the 2023 ITP Senior Fellow (Ciprian Dobra, ITP 2019, Senior Fellow 2023)

Written by Ciprian Dobra, Alba Iulia Municipality Counselor and cultural objective curator, Principia Museum, Romania, ITP Senior Fellow 2023 (ITP fellow 2019)

I am back in London. Back to the British Museum. Something that I longed for ever since I left in 2019 after my amazing experience within the International Training Programme.

I was offered the opportunity to be this year’s Senior Fellow and hopefully will be up to the task and challenge. I am here, therefore the first step was made.

My trip began on Saturday, after an exhausting day at work because there were a lot of tourists in the Principia Museum that day and a lot of things that were supposed to be set before my leaving. I left for Sibiu, the nearest airport, where I embarked for Munich and then for London.

When arriving in London, on my way to Schafer House, I noticed a few changes in the landscapes but, somehow, it felt familiar, like I have just left a few days ago. This is the effect of the ITP experience. These people, both the ITP team and the fellows, are making you feel so welcome and at home in the British Museum that when you return you feel like you are coming back home away from home.

Ciprian taking a selfie in front of the entrance to Schafer House, UCL accommodation used during the International Training Programme

Schafer House was not starting the check in until 3 pm, so I left my luggage and went around to get something to eat and reacquaint with the surroundings. The taxi driver from the airport to Schafer House told me that a lot of businesses closed during the pandemic and that thing was so visibly true. On top of that it was Sunday and almost everything was closed but I found an open super-market and everything was fine.

On returning to Schafer House, hundreds of students from all around the world were already in a queue for the check in so I spend a couple of hours just waiting until my turn came and I could finally get some rest.

And now, it is finally Monday and I get to meet Claire and George. I took the same way to the British Museum that I used to in 2019, without the GPS, just to see if I remember it. The streets were more quiet than before because there are so many more electric cars now.

Ciprian taking a selfie in front of the British Museum main entrance

I felt so happy to see Claire and George coming out of the building! They have not changed since 2019. Then the feeling when we got back into the Museum… goosebumps! Even the air inside was producing memories and I could see in mind; my 2019 fellows standing around the café on the right side of the entrance, chatting and sipping coffee, waiting for the daily sessions. I do not know how the others felt but what I feel can not be expressed in words.

Ciprian standing for a photo with Claire Messenger, ITP Manager, and George Peckham, ITP Coordinator

After the security procedures, we, better said I, because Claire and George are doing it for some time now, began working for the ITP schedule and activities. I am looking forward for everything that will happen and enjoy this experience again along with the 2023 cohort, and I hope I can share it with them the same way I did with the 2019 fellows.