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On August 4-17 the Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange conducted its second Fulbright International Summer Institute. It took place in Bulgaria's most beautiful mountain resort of Pamporovo and attracted 32 students from the U.S., Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Pakistan.
The participants were offered nine courses in the following areas: ”Negotiation and Conflict Resolution”, “U.S. Foreign Policy in the Age of Globalization”, “International Security and Regional Cooperation in the Balkans”, “Leadership in the 21 st Century”, “Computer-mediated Communication in International and Intercultural Contexts”, “The Future of the European Union”, “Social Psychological Issues for Public Policy” and “Cultural Traditions in Bulgaria”. The AY 03-04 Fulbright grantees from the U.S. who also attended the summer program studied Bulgarian for three weeks.
Most of the FISI professors were American and Bulgarian Fulbright alumni representing prestigious universities – Harvard University, the University of Michigan, University of Dayton, Florida Atlantic University, Sofia University, New Bulgarian University, the Technical University in Sofia etc.
The FISI participants were also offered a rich cultural program introducing them to Bulgaria's beautiful nature, rich cultural heritage and the life of Bulgarians today. The first week they spent an unforgettable day visiting the scary Devil's Throat cave, the spectacular Trigrad gorge and the beautiful cave of Yagodina. The next day they enjoyed the movement of the stars in the Smolyan planetarium, some famous Bulgarian paintings in the Smolyan art gallery and various items of Bulgarian folklore in the ethnographic museum. The second week all FISI participants visited Plovdiv and spent a few hours in the beautiful ancient part of the city.
The second Fulbright International Summer Institute reaffirmed the validity and potential of the Fulbright idea of building mutual understanding through exchange of knowledge and cultural values. It obliterated cultural differences providing a wonderful opportunity for students and faculty to demonstrate and share their knowledge, professional expertise, teaching and learning skills, enthusiasm and good will.
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