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talk to you about the multiple advantages of going to college.» These were the words I was reviewing in my mind as I prepared to make my presentation. I was sitting in a high school classroom on the Native American reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, waiting for the start of the eighth-grade World Geography class. While I waited, I stared at the colorful maps and the stacks of glossy books and magazines around me, and I thought how lucky these children were to have all those resources that I hadn’t had. To me, considering the general poverty of the reservation, this was a sign of the value that people here placed on education. I was visiting this reservation with fifteen fellow students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who had volunteered to teach here during their Spring Break rather than go to the usual exotic destinations that most college students choose. Our Alternative Spring Break was a «service-learning» trip, and it turned out to be just as exotic and exciting as Cancun, Mexico, or Las Vegas. Ten minutes after the class was supposed to begin, the children started shuffling into the room. Nobody seemed overly excited by the fact that a stranger was there, not even after I stood up, smiled widely, and said «Hello. How is everybody doing?» Something was telling me that being from Ukraine and a Fulbright scholar may not ring any bells with anybody, so I decided to switch to a simple geography lesson. “I am from Europe,» I said. «Does anybody know where Europe is?» After a 5-minute search for the word «Europe» on the map, one of the most vocal ones said, «It’s across the water.» I confirmed that revelation and asked some follow-up questions to help identify the name of that water. I thought we were doing very well in exploring the map, so I asked the students to find the eastern part of Europe, thinking that, once they were there, they would find my country in no time. Hoping that I wasn’t giving too much away, I prompted them: «It’s in the southeast of Europe, it borders on Russia in the east, and it is washed by two seas.» After a quick, agitated search, the winning look in the eyes of one of the students led me to believe that Ukraine was found. «I know what it is!» he shouted in excitement. «It’s Norway!» Genuine surprise in my eyes gave way to other guesses as the students kept reading names off the map: Finland, Sweden, Great Britain. As much as I hated to disappoint them, I had to say it was Ukraine and show them where it was to save time searching for it. “Do you speak Ukrainese?» This was the question that followed. Realizing that Ukrainese sounded so much cooler, I had to say I spoke Ukrainian. The geography lesson turned out to be a fun discovery game. And, believe it or not, we did end up talking about the multiple opportunities for obtaining scholarships to go to college for both Native Americans and Ukrainians... Or should I say, Ukrainese? My experience on the reservation in Pine Ridge was one of

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many learning experiences I have had during my Fulbright award period, which runs from 2004 to 2006. I am affiliated with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), the state's land-grant university and the only comprehensive university in Nebraska. Recognized by the Legislature as the primary research and doctoral-degree granting institution in the state, UNL is one of the top 50 American universities in the number of doctoral degrees granted annually. The total student body of UNL is 21,792 (2005). As a member of the Big 12 Conference, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is known for its athletes, the «Cornhuskers,» who compete in 22 sports. My project is to study the effect of the attack of September 11, 2001, on the recruiting of international students in four different institutions of higher education in Lincoln, Nebraska. When my research is complete, I believe that it will be of great use to UNL and to other institutions in their international recruitment strategies. Meanwhile, during my stay at UNL I have already accomplished a number of other goals. First, my academic program in Educational Administration and three different internships have expanded my knowledge of the American system of education and equipped me with solid supervisory skills. I have been actively involved in the International Student Organization. This organization has not only given me a lot of exposure to people of different countries and helped me develop a better understanding of their cultures, but it has also strengthened my organizational and communication skills. I was accepted into the national leadership honor society, Omicron Delta Kappa, and appointed an International Student Representative in the student government. My other accomplishments pertain to the opportunity to educate American citizens about international students in general and Ukraine in particular. I have done numerous workshops about working with international students, as well as presentations about Ukraine, including one about the elections in Ukraine for the Lincoln chapter of the United Nations Association.

Fulbright Ukraine Yearbook 2005  

The 2005 Yearbook includes a short description of projects for this year by Ukrainian and American Fulbright scholars, which will be useful...

Fulbright Ukraine Yearbook 2005  

The 2005 Yearbook includes a short description of projects for this year by Ukrainian and American Fulbright scholars, which will be useful...

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