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FISI 2002
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FISI 2002

In the summer of 2002 the Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange launched a new initiative aimed at introducing a transnational component in its exchange activities. This was the first Fulbright International Summer Institute (FISI) which took place in Pamporovo on August 4-18, 2002. Participating in it were 35 students from 12 countries in Europe, Asia and the U.S. Among them were the new U.S. Fulbrighters who were to spend the AY 02-03 in Bulgaria.

Along with FISI, a seminar on “The Cold War Legacy” for graduate students and junior faculty was offered for another group of 30 students from 13 countries. The Cold War Legacy Seminar was organized under the HESP program. FISI was also supported by the Open Society Foundation.

FISI 2002 gave the participants the opportunity to attend nine courses in a variety of fields. The courses were taught in English by distinguished American, European and Bulgarian professors, most of whom were Fulbright grantees and alumni.

FISI 2002 also offered an exciting cultural program to show the participants the achievements of Bulgarian culture and the magic of Bulgarian nature. The highlight of the first week was a one-day trip to Trigrad gorge and two remarkable caves, Yagodina and Devil’s Throat. This was followed by a visit to the Rozhen Observatory on Peak Rozhen which ended with a concert of Bulgaria’s phenomenal folk singer Valya Balkanska. During the second FISI weekend the FISI students visited the historic city of Plovdiv and the Bachkovo Monastery.

The first Fulbright International Summer Institute was a great success. It fully met its objectives to promote mutual understanding through educational and cultural exchange, to create a global student audience and encourage productive discussions on important and interesting issues, to provide a stimulating environment for exchange of knowledge and teaching expertise in various fields, to demonstrate the achievements of Bulgarian education and culture and show the beauty of Bulgarian nature.

 

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