The Eurasia Foundation worked with the International Leadership and Training Center (ILTC) team this fall to create the Academic Success Strategies online course for the Year of Exchange in America for Russians (YEAR) Program. Due to COVID-19, these 123 students from Russia were not able to come to the U.S. for study. Instead, they spent 14 weeks with the ILTC learning about U.S. culture, history, diversity and inclusion, academic preparation, English communication, intercultural communication, and leadership.
This program consisted of asynchronous and synchronous content. Besides the weekly lectures on various topics, guest speakers from MSU and Springfield community were invited during eight live/virtual discussion sessions during the semester and shared their understandings and experiences on related topics. This collaboration between ILTC and the campus and larger community helped bring the experience of studying abroad and intercultural communication to everyone’s homes.
Students shared a lot of positive feedback on this course. Not only did they improve their English language skills, communication skills, and leadership skills, but also many stated that they had started to apply what they learned and make some changes in their daily life with mindfulness and a positive attitude towards challenges.
See some student projects from the program
Even in the midst of a pandemic, this program served as a bridge between multiple cultures and helped create long-lasting connections and growth for the students and staff.
As the final session concluded, everyone was reminded that this is not an ending. Rather, it is another beginning!
Finally, thank you to our wonderful guest speakers
- Vitaliy (Gunner) Bothman- MSU student
- Alexis Butler- MSU student
- Adam Coulter- Springfield Community member
- Sarah Craine- MSU student
- Ken Eddy – Springfield Community member
- Manuel Elivo-Jerez – MSU student
- Ann Elwell- Springfield community member
- Michael Fessenden- Springfield community member
- Aimee Freiner- MSU student
- Blake Haynes- MSU student
- Cole Howerton- MSU student
- Cameron Jordan- MSU student
- Mike Klem- MSU staff
- Katelyn Knight- MSU student
- Christina Nguyen- MSU student
- Victoria Ogbeifun -MSU student
- Saad Rahman- MSU student
- Travis Schilla- MSU staff
- Sarah Zey- MSU staff