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Central Washington University
Office of International Studies and Programs
Hebeler Hall 102
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7408

Year of Exchange in America for Russians

CWU Year of Exchange in America for Russians (YEAR) students who arrived in fall 2021, Anton, Elena, and ShauraCentral Washington University (CWU) is pleased to welcome three Year of Exchange in America for Russians (YEAR) program students to campus this fall - Anton, Elena and Shaura.

The YEAR program is a unique opportunity for outstanding Russian students to study as non-matriculated students at universities and community colleges across the United States.  Finalists are selected on the basis of academic excellence, leadership potential, English language proficiency, and a motivation to study in the United States.

The YEAR program provides participants with a rich academic and cultural experience.  Through this highly competitive, merit-based program, students take courses in their field of study for up to one academic year.  While on the program they have the opportunity to develop a nuanced understanding of American society and values while strengthening their academic, leadership, and English language skills.

"One of the main goals of my trip is to immerse myself in American culture and get to know all its aspects. I have been here for about two weeks, but for me, they flew by like one day because they were filled with various activities, events, and meeting new people.” shared Elena.  

YEAR students connect with local families in order to learn more about American culture and society.  They also participate in various volunteer, community service, and professional development activities as part of the program. Participants work in teams to complete a collaborative video project about their academic and cultural experience in the United States.

Rachel Gordon, CWU International Partnerships Manager, is responsible for helping the YEAR students fulfil their program requirements, including being paired with a local Friendship Family.  “It is a delight to connect these bright, young students with families around Ellensburg. In a way, programs such as the YEAR program help to bring the world to Ellensburg and show the families - especially their children - what it is like to be from another culture.  I hope it inspires some of them to travel or study abroad in the future”.

Through the academic courses and cultural activities students partake in, they are given the opportunity to explore U.S. culture and develop professional skills beneficial for their future career paths. 

Elena further shares, “Exploring another culture gives me a very valuable experience and knowledge that I will definitely use when I return home. I feel very lucky to study here at CWU in The Evergreen State."

The Program is funded by the U.S. Embassy Moscow and administered by Eurasia Fundation. 

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