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Dear former Senator Bill Bradley,

We would like to express our gratitude to you for your idea and effort in founding FSA FLEX Program. We truly appreciate this significant step toward developing friendship between the United States and Russia.

Being participants of this Program we learned to understand and accept a different culture and the fact that every nation and country is different and there are no right or wrong ways of doing things. It is truly incredible to know that we have so many dear friends across the Atlantic Ocean that we will always be in touch with. Time and distance are powerless compared to friendship that is connecting and uniting all of us in different parts of this big world. Thanks for organizing this Program and giving us opportunities to make friends and memories for life and to learn other culture.

Participating in the Program we got a different view on many issues such as gender, democracy, human rights, community life, and demographics and acquired useful skills and knowledge we can directly apply to our lives. Thanks for helping us to open up new sides of our personalities and be so self-motivated. We learned to depend only on personal choice and to be persistent in everything we undertake. All of us are attending the best universities of Volgograd and other cities and a lot of us already work unlike other students of our age. We learned to make others like and support what we do and join us and help us, we know how to better communicate with people and get along with them.

This was a very unique multicultural experience. We all were parts of local exchange groups and participated in activities that were offered to us by the different Placement Organizations. Getting to make friends from several different countries made us feel the citizens of the world and absorb the best things from other cultures. We learned how to share: share good times, share experience, share memories and share the cultures. People's kindness and care made us reciprocate and that is how we learned to treat people better, to help when it is needed. And our experience of community life in the US gave us a different perspective on how to help our Russian communities and improve their lives. Thank you that we are given an opportunity to take part in Small Grants Program and receive grants to promote community development at home. Alumni Association is a great thing each one of us is involved in. Every month we get to take part in different activities and gain new experience or share it with others. It is invaluable that we are always meeting with new alumni and can share and discuss our ideas together and work on projects together. The great newsletter Bradley Herald that is quarterly published in Moscow and sent to each alum/na is another way for us to get in touch with alumni and share our views on various subjects. Alumni Association program is really important to us also because we often get to take part in seminars, workshops, conferences, debates and receive guidance for further personal and professional development. It is especially important to learn new skills while being back in Russia and be aware of the opportunities we all have here. The past year we had such memorable activities as Grant writing seminar-training, Career building seminar, American Universities seminar and World after Sep 11 seminar-discussion. There are always unexplored areas to learn about and things we can discuss, so we take every chance we have to do that.

We all agree that one of the new things and perhaps the most important one we have discovered after we were FSA FLEX program participants is that we should never stop in front of the goals that seem hard to pursue and that we should always have those goals ahead, every time making them more ambitious. This way we can make our lives be like we see them in our dreams and we can build our future, thus building the future of our country. Thanks for helping us realize that every person's will, motivation, desire and persistence can make a big difference in the world and that we know how to make this difference. FSA FLEX program has shaped us and we are shaping the world around for everybody.


Volgograd FSA FLEX Alumni.

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Dear Placement Organizations' Staff,

Thank you for working with FSA FLEX students for so many years!

We truly appreciate all the memories you have brought in our lives while we were in the United States. We will never forget your effort and work to make us feel better in a foreign country and to help us.

We realize it takes much time and work to find host families for us; thank you for finding the best families that match our personal qualities and interests. The most important thing is that we always know we have local Area Representatives who is taking care of us and our problems and who we can turn to any time we need help or just want to talk and discuss different things. It is not always easy to work with a group of 25-30 exchange students from different countries - and thank you for the area reps who are so devoted to their students and who provide emotional support for them whenever it is needed.

Another thing that is truly unforgettable for us are local exchange groups and activities we took part in together with other exchange students from different countries. Thank you for organizing them for us: it helped us to better socialize with each other and get to know each other closer as well as get to know other cultures and facts about other countries.

Some of us went on exchange students' trips to other states or other towns. And those trips will always stay in our memories as the best moments of our lives.

We are back in our home country now and we are still in touch with many Area Reps and exchange students from other countries. That friendship that was built between us is impossible to break now because memories stay in people's hearts forever. And the memory of how you taught us friendship, tolerance and patience is the most vivid one. You were and still are our friends and looking at you we learned how to be as kind and understanding as you were toward us. This was a school of life and now we are thanking our teachers.

We are studying at the universities at home, some of us are still in high school. But we all know that we will become leaders in one or another way and we are constantly working to be better citizens and members of our society. The FSA FLEX program taught us skills that are so helpful in our present lives and that we are trying to apply everywhere it is possible. We all have great plans for the future life and career and we are pursuing the goals that others are scared to even try to pursue. We learned that we should never stop after whatever achievements we make and that we should always move forward and higher. FSA FLEX alumni is a very intense force that is moving our society and country to a better future. Thank you for teaching us to be future leaders for life!


Volgorad FSA FLEX Alumni.

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Volgograd Web Tribune - did you read the news?

September 11th

Hello, everybody!

Volgograd FSA FLEX alumni are honored to express their gratitude and appreciation to the representatives of the US State Department, American Councils for International Education, Placement Organizations and host families, local area representatives and High Schools.

Happy 10th anniversaty of the FSA FLEX Program!!!

We want to thank all the people who helped us in Russia and guided in the States. That is why we decided to write Thank You Letters to Bill Bradley (former Senator, NJ) and to the Placement Organizations' staff.

Volgograd FSA FLEX Alumni.

Anna Bakumova'01
Natalya Bochkareva'01
Antonina Chernyshova'99
Pavel Chernyshov'98
Elena Gladkova'99
Ilya Katulin'97
Darya Karpenko'01
Dmitriy Polynkov'98
Ludmila Popova'01
Artyom Popov'96
Ekaterina Sergeeva'01
Nadezhda Svechnikova'02
Anna Tarakhnova'02
Elena Verbitskaya'01