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FISI 2012

The eleventh Fulbright International Summer Institute (FISI) took place at the RIU Pravets Resort on August 13-24, 2012. The event attracted 113 students from the US, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Serbia, Kazakhstan and Greece. Their backgrounds ranged from political science, law, economics, international relations, history and business administration to information technology, philosophy, biopsychology, anthropology, linguistics, eco-chemistry, sociology, and music.

FISI 2012 was organized by the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission but its ultimate success heavily depended on the cooperation and synergy of several other institutions: America for Bulgaria Foundation, Sofia University and its Centre of Excellence Dialogue Europe, the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and Monmouth College in Illinois, USA. Among the participants were 27 MBA students from the Ross School of Business led by Professor George Siedel. They attended his course on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution and were offered a special program that involved meetings with prominent Bulgarian entrepreneurs and visits to business companies. Professor Brenda Tooley from Monmouth College and Dr. Syed Hussain Shaheed Soherwordi from the University of Peshawar, Pakistan, also brought students from their home institutions. Doctoral and postdoctoral students from the Centre of Excellence at Sofia University attended special team-taught courses and participated in a research forum.

FISI offered a total of 14 interdisciplinary courses conducted by 24 distinguished professors from prestigious universities and institutions such as Harvard University, University of Michigan, University of Peshawar, Sofia University, New Bulgarian University, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, University of Oklahoma, University of Veliko Turnovo, Monmouth College, South-West University in Blagoevgrad , the American University in Bulgaria, the New York District Court, and Foresight Alliance.

Along with the FISI courses, the new group of American Fulbright lecturers, graduate students and English Teaching Assistants were offered cultural orientation, professional training and an intensive two-week course in Bulgarian language. The Bulgarian Culture course introduced participants to Bulgaria’s long and rich history, music, art, education, tourism, media as well as the current political and economic situation.

A visit to the Saeva Dupka Cave and lunch in the scenic Ribaritsa resort village offered FISI students and lecturers a glimpse of the beauty of Bulgarian nature and a taste of the traditional Bulgarian cuisine, while classical music lovers had the chance to enjoy the opera The Marriage of Figaro and the ballet Don Giovanni on the lake stage at RIU Pravets Resort as part of the eighth edition of the annual Mozart Festival.

We would like to thank all students, lecturers and participating institutions for making FISI such a memorable experience!

Special recognition and gratitude is due to America for Bulgaria Foundation for its generous financial support.

The contribution of the Centre of Excellence Dialogue Europe at Sofia University is also greatly appreciated.

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