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(Left to Right):  Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya, Elsa Mouly, Natalia Kulinichenko, Olga Prudka and Dr. Olena Bagumian

(Left to Right): Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya, Elsa Mouly, Natalia Kulinichenko, Olga Prudka and Dr. Olena Bagumian.

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Being involved in East Central University’s Global Education Program is a two-way street for students Elsa Mouly, Natalia Kulinichenko and Olga Prudka.

Mouly, from France, along with Kulinichenko and Prudka, both from Ukraine, are on the ECU campus to not only learn and study, but to teach others about their countries and cultures.

Dr. Olena Bagumian, from Ukraine International Christian University, is here for one semester as a visiting instructor.

The ECU Global Education Office, under the direction of Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya, actively recruits international students from around the world to attend ECU; organizes short-term Study Abroad trips; provides opportunities to travel and study internationally through an exchange program with sister institutions: Kiev National University of Linguistics (Ukraine) and State University in Moscow (Russia); has a Study Abroad program with the University of Extremadura in Spain; and assists students in obtaining international study abroad scholarships through the Brad Henry International Scholar Program.

Mouly, who is here for one complete semester, is excited about her opportunity study abroad. She comes to ECU from the University of Limoges (France), another sister institution of ECU about 2 ½ hours away from Paris.

“I really need to improve my English for my career (in law),” said Mouly. “The United States people are really nice.”

Sukholutskaya believes learning and teaching are important to these international students.

“These students serve as ambassadors for their countries. They’re always there to give a first-hand account about their cultures,” Sukholutskaya said. “Our hope is that this encourages other ECU students to travel and study abroad.”

Kulinichenko and Prudka come from the Kiev National University of Linguistics and are here for a one-month stay.

“This is a good experience to tell people about my country,” said Kulinichenko.

Prudka describes herself as a curious person because anytime she sees something new she is interested in it.

“We were offered this opportunity because we had good grades,” Prudka said. “I like American people. They are open to new people and not trying to make borders. I feel relaxed with Americans.”

Sukholutskaya encourages ECU as well as the community to get to know these students.

“They would like to share their cultures with the university. We hope they will have a chance to meet with your classes or civic clubs,” said Sukholutskaya.

It’s a matter of gaining an understanding, according to Prudka.

“You see how different our attitudes and customs are…how we stand when we talk to each other,” Prudka said.

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