Now about halfway into their program, our Global UGRADs from Europe and Central Asia have had many opportunities to engage with their host communities. Their experiences have helped them gain insight into American life and build connections between their host communities and their communities back home. Check out some of their favorite experiences below!
Dilnaz Imeramzayeva, Kazakhstan, SUNY – Plattsburgh:
On October 5th, I visited one of the most beautiful spots in the U.S. – Whiteface Mountain. Whiteface Mountain is the fifth-highest mountain in the state of New York. I come from Kazakhstan, a country that is also famous for its mountains. This trip made me realize how similar and at the same time different the nature in the U.S. and Kazakhstan is. It is very hard to describe the beauty of the place I’ve been to. Most probably, photos will tell more than words. Me and some other Global UGRAD participants hiked to the top, where forests were at our fingertips. After that, we visited Lake Placid Olympic Museum. The museum is located in Lake Placid, the city that hosted Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980. It was my first time to visit a museum like that and I enjoyed it. I can surely say that I have had an amazing experience.
Gevio Tabaku, Albania, University of Maine: Being in the United States for a semester has been awesome so far! I have not only been introduced to the U.S. culture, but also to multiple different international cultures thanks to my international friends! By having conversations with my American peers, I was able to better understand how U.S. politics and the government work and also their opinions on it. I also discussed different notions, such as freedom of speech, freedom of media, etc. and got to understand how these notions are perceived by Americans. This experience will be so valuable for me. It will help me further understand how different parts of the world work and how we can all help to build a safer future.
Arman Khachatryan, Armenia, Emporia State University: The community and the atmosphere I experienced so far is unbelievable. I could not ever imagine what kind of experience I would live in the U.S. The orientation week was very exciting with international student dinner, games, and many other activities held by the International Education Office. Communicating amidst this kind of diversity helps me broaden my perspective. As a business student, I was very happy when I found here the resources I can use for my future career. Moreover, instructors are very friendly and happy to help us with any questions. I strongly believe that this will be life-changing. Along with studies, I have already found several projects for community development which I can take with me to Armenia. I will do my best to make the most of this experience.