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Program Brings Russian Undergraduates to UW

May 8, 2018

The University of Wyoming has been selected to host three undergraduate students from Russia for the 2018-19 school year through the Year of Exchange in America for Russians (YEAR) Program, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

This is the third consecutive year UW will host YEAR students, a testament to the university’s strong curriculum and international student services.

The YEAR Program supports people-to-people diplomacy and fosters greater cultural understanding between the United States and Russia. This year, the program will bring 69 high-achieving Russian students to the U.S. The students were selected through a competitive, merit-based process for their outstanding academic records, leadership potential, excellent English skills and strong interest in learning about U.S. culture.

“We have hosted YEAR students in previous years, and we are excited to host three more vibrant students this year,” says Ryan Goeken, UW’s assistant director of the Office of International Students and Scholars. “This exchange has enriched the university and our city in many ways, providing cultural exchange for local families and deepening discourse in our classrooms and our campus.”

Throughout their year at UW, the Russian students will take classes in their fields of study, as well as American studies, while also engaging in community service and cultural exchange with their American counterparts. The YEAR students not only will learn about the United States firsthand, but they also will help enrich the classroom experience for UW students by offering international perspectives and insights into Russian culture and history.

The three Russian students who will be hosted by UW will arrive in Laramie in late July. Before moving into UW housing, the students will be hosted by families in the Laramie area who will help them learn more about American culture and family life while integrating into the local community.

Gerrit Rap, a Laramie resident who hosted a YEAR student in 2017, says the experience “added a spice of life to our daily routine and helped our family grow in immeasurable ways. Through shared moments of laughter and tears, laughter and discovery, laughter and sharing, and more laughter, our perspective of life was broadened and strengthened. Our family will forever include (our YEAR student) and the memories we've made.”

American Councils for International Education seeks families and individuals as diverse as America itself to host YEAR students from late July to late August. The ideal hosts will be open to cultural exchange and ready to help a young student adapt to life abroad while providing a bed, daily meals and friendly conversation. All hosts will receive a stipend to support them in the costs of hosting.

For more information about hosting, visit the YEAR Program website or contact American Councils at Host family applications are due June 1.

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