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Participants Abroad

How far can you go?

By fostering rich intercultural knowledge and outstanding language skills, American Councils programs often open doors to new careers and lifelong interests. Check out success stories from our alumni and profiles of scholarship recipients below.

Participant Success Stories

Participants on American Councils programs come from every walk of life for an experience beyond ordinary. By the end of their academic programs, they each leave with their own unique stories of success that inspire and last a lifetime. Where will your program lead?

Kentina Saxon (OPIT Armenia 2018)

Kentina Saxon"OPIT helped me truly feel and see the sheer power, beauty and privilege to both witness and help create the wave that is positive and impactful change, no matter where we find ourselves in the world."

Alumna Kentina Saxon shares insight on her experience in Yerevan, Armenia, where she interned at the Armenian Association of Social Workers and developed a strong bond with her host family. Read More

Catherine Cartier (ERLP Tajikistan 2019)

Catherine Cartier"My Persian skills have grown tremendously, as has my knowledge of Persian literature and poetry. I also value my close relationship with my host family, and I love learning about the history of Tajikistan through their memories."

Following an intensive educational and cultural study abroad experience in Tajikistan, Catherine Cartier shares some insights on language learning, cultural immersion, and more. Read More

Sonia Su (TISLP 2017)

Sonia Su"I very much valued the small class sizes, which enabled us to challenge ourselves and speak up more often. Because the program was so rigorous, I was able to significantly improve my Mandarin in just eight short weeks."

After an eye-opening study abroad experience in Taiwan, Sonia Su returned to the United States and reflected on her experiences abroad. Read More

Serena Hajjar (PPD 2018)

Serena Hajjar"Armed with the tremendous knowledge and insight I gained from the academic curriculum of the PPD program, I returned to the United States ready to fully embark on this journey of unraveling the Russian riddle throughout the remainder of my studies in university.”"

Alumna Serena Hajjar looks back on her summer in Moscow and how it continues to impact and inspire her to this day. Read More

Shea Golob (TISLP 2018)

Shea Golob"The program was everything I could have asked it to be, and I walked away with a far better understanding of Taiwanese culture and the Chinese language."

Upon returning to the U.S. after a summer in Taiwan, alumnus Shea Golob shares highlights of his experience learning Chinese, immersing himself in Taiwanese culture, and more. Read More

Cydnie Davenport (OPIT Russia 2018)

"[OPIT] was really eye-opening both for my professional development as well as my understanding of a business culture in a culture that is different from my own"

Alumna Cydnie Davenport spent a summer interning in Moscow, gaining valuable experience and language skills while learning about Russian culture from her host family and others. Read More

Scholarship Recipient Profiles

The American Councils Study Abroad Scholarship Fund was established in order to provide students with additional funding for study abroad in Eurasia, Russia, and the Balkans. Learn more about previous scholarship recipients and their experiences.

Risa Chubinsky (Moscow 2014)

"After this program I realized that, despite large cultural and political differences, we are more alike in terms of our daily and long-term goals and aspirations than you would expect from reading the news.”

Alumna Risa Chubinsky discusses her time abroad and how her scholarship helped her achieve her personal and academic goals. Read More

Eve Litvak (St. Petersburg 2014)

Eve Litvak"As the first first-generation American in my family, I had many unanswered questions about Russia and what it means to be Russian."

Alumna Eve Litvak discusses her experiences as a Russian heritage speaker abroad, how her scholarship helped her achieve her study abroad goals, and what it has inspired her to do next. Read More

Jordan Matosky (St. Petersburg 2014)

Jordan Matosky"I was able to play basketball with Russian students from my university. It was an incredible method to get to know people from another area of the world, and has created international friendships."

Alumna Jordan Matosky discusses her time abroad and how her scholarship helped her make new friends on the basketball court while bridging cultural differences. Read More

Omeed Alidadi (Dushanbe 2017)

Omeed Alidadi "It wasn't until I was completely immersed— i.e. watching Russian media daily, volunteering at local community centers, and spending time with my host brother and his friends — that I felt like I understood what it was like to be Tajik."

Alum Omeed Alidadi writes about his time abroad in Tajikistan and how his Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad scholarship helped him gain a sense of understanding and belonging halfway across the world. Read More

Connor O'Brien (Moscow 2017)

Connor O'Brien "Ultimately, the immersive nature of the program was fundamental in improving my spoken and written Russian, and especially in improving my listening abilities."

RLASP alum Connor O'Brien writes about how his Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad scholarship allowed for him to immerse himself in Russian language study and the importance of language immersion on U.S.-Russian relations. Read More

Matthew Marsland (Moscow 2018)

Matthew Marsland "You can study Russian language from anywhere on Earth, but there can be no substitute for fully immersing yourself in the culture and language you study."

RLASP alum Matthew Marsland writes about how his Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad scholarship allowed for him to immerse himself in Russian language study and the importance of overseas language immersion. Read More

Rachel McBride (Dushanbe 2018)

Rachel McBride "I guarantee you will not regret picking a study abroad location more off the beaten path, and you will learn an enormous amount about a lesser-known country/culture and yourself in the process.

ERLP alum Rachel McBride writes about the importance of study abroad and why studying abroad in Dushanbe on the Eurasian Regional Language Program was such a unique experience. Read More

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