As an EAPSI fellow I was awarded the chance to pursue my own research idea as a principal investigator (PI). This was an invaluable opportunity to develop and grow as a research engineer. I was able to step outside of my comfort zone, interact with new colleagues, and all within a new setting and country. The greatest lessons I learned from participating in this program weren't those that were directly a result of the research, but rather those that were learned as a PI. It's one thing to have a great idea for a research topic, and even to work out the procedures for creating, testing and validating this idea, but I have found that there are always misteps and setbacks that can't be accounted for during the course of a project. Having been through this program I can now better plan out, not only the research side of a project, but also the logistics. I am more aware of what it really takes to make an idea a reality, and that is quite possibly one of the most valuable lessons I have learned thus far in my academic and professional career as an engineer. I must also mention that being in a foreign setting only enhanced this learning experience. I am much more familiar with how to conduct research within the US, but being in a foreign setting really set those, previously mentioned, lessons in. This foreign setting also gave me a chance to look beyond the interests of myself and of those around me to see a new way of approaching things, and just as well a new set of priorities that I hadn't imagined.