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Moldova

FLEX

One of the coolest programs I have learned about in Moldova is the FLEX program. FLEX or Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program, is a US State Department-sponsored scholarship program for high school students from the countries of the former Soviet Union.

In my time in Moldova I have met a few former FLEX students and have really enjoyed interacting with them about their time in America. In general the FLEX students I have met have been motivated, friendly, spoken excellent english and seemed to have benefited greatly from this program.

The program began with the FREEDOM Support Act which was passed by Congress in 1992. The Act was sponsored by Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, who envisioned it as a way to build US relations with the countries of the former Soviet Union based upon bridges of personal friendship and mutual understanding. (To me this program reads a little like Peace Corps goals two and three.)

The FLEX program works in close partnership with American Councils for International Education, an organization which administers recruitment, selection, pre-departure orientation, and alumni programming for the FLEX Program in their home countries. The American Councils in these countries also offer resources, clubs and classes for English language developement and opportunities. For example the American Council in Balti has a regular english club two days a week, a wall of movies in english, resources for common english language tests, such as the SAT, GMAT ect.

Below is a video with participants from this program, including one of the FLEX students I know in Balti, who has been mentioned in the blog before, Catia.

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