Alumni Small Grants: Closing 2018

On May 31st, 2018 Fulbright alumni in Buryat State University (BSU) in Ulan-Ude hosted one of two round tables supported by the Small Grants program; the round table welcomed 2nd and 4th year students of the BSU's Institute of Philology and Media Communications. The round table "Connecting Russian & US People" was hosted and moderated by Tatyana Platitsyna, alumna of FLTA 2006-07 and FFDP 2012-13 programs, and Elena Chernobrovkina, FFDP 2015-16 alumna. The moderators started the event by talking about their experience of participating the Fulbright program, then through a selection of videos they introduced students to the American culture, their values and national character. Several parallels were drawn between Russian and American culture, which helped the participants to identify similar models of behavior in Russians and Americans and to pinpoint common a result, the round table caused genuine interest among the English-learning students towards the Fulbright program, the moderators were even asked to the event to advise the students about the process of taking part in the competition.

Later that year, on November 16th, another round table was organized, this time for Master students of the BSU's Institute of Philology and Media Communications, language schools teachers and BSU's young English teachers. Apart from Tatyana and Elena, the event was also moderated by other Fulbright alumni at BSU - Elena Vasilyeva and Natalia Monieva. The round table featured a presentation about post-grant activities by the Ulan-Ude Fulbrighters, as well as a video from James Neimeister, ETA 2013-14 alum. This time around the meeting focused on issues in Russia and US' school education system, and possible solutions for them, which in turn would be a good foundation for future Fulbright projects.

Moreover, grantees published a cross-cultural manual on the USA and the UK. The manual offers a comparative insight into history and culture of those two major English-speaking countries, serving as additional course material for the students. Five copies of the manual reside in the national library of the Republic of Buryatia, the rest were distributed among students and teachers of English at BSU and regional universities, including those in Irkutsk and Chita.

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Shortly before the New Year celebration, on December 15, 2018, graduates of the Fulbright program of different years and different programs had the opportunity to meet in Tyumen and share their experience of applying the results of the Fulbright program in practice at their universities. The meeting, also supported by the program of Small grants, was hosted by Pavel Kuznetsov, alum of the FFDP 2007-08 program, Director of the Center for International and Intercultural education of the Tyumen State University (TSU). The meeting was held in TSU as part of "COMMUNITY", the national forum of young international education leaders, which TSU organized for the third time. Guests and Fulbright alumni from Omsk, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Novokuznetsk, Novosibirsk, Chelyabinsk, Surgut, Kazan joined the introductory session and together with students discussed the following issues: how to effectively use the opportunities of international youth cooperation? How to organize a project with the participation of Russian and international students? How should the activities of student organizations change in connection with the challenges of globalization?

One of the focal points of the forum was the panel discussion about the benefits of international mobility found particularly instrumental by the young leaders in internatioanl education. The panel gave them a great chance to learn about the Fulbright program and its opportunities first-hand from the Program's alumni, who talked at length about their own way from an application to finalizing their projects made possible by the grant.

Photos by T. Platitsyna & P. Kuznetsov

Программа Фулбрайта в Российской Федерации. Институт Международного Образования.
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