News and Events

Fulbright Wrap Up Seminar 2018 – 2019

Just like a good beginning, a good ending should also be celebrated. This
is what US Fulbright grantees and their Bulgarian colleagues did in Burgas on
June 7 and 8. This year’s edition of our annual Wrap up Seminar gathered around 100 participants – American Fulbright scholars and researchers, Fulbright-America for
Bulgaria English teaching assistants, Bulgarian teachers, school principals,
partners, sponsors, and Fulbright staff, who came together to reflect on the challenges and achievements of the past year.

The Seminar began with
a greeting address by Commission ED Angela Rodel, who shared ideas and
opportunities for Fulbright alumni to continue their commitment to the Program. While grantees enjoyed
learning how to stay in touch with the Fulbright community, to
advocate for the Fulbright Program, and to order life-saving supplies of lyutenitsa and sirene in the US,
their Bulgarian colleagues attended workshops led by Plamen Miltenoff,
professor at St. Cloud State University
(SCSU) in Minnesota with professional interests in new
technologies in education. The workshops were dedicated to the following
topics: Best Practices for Enabling BYOD (Bring Your
Own Device) in Education
, and Stress and Teacher Burnout: Impact of
Mindfulness Strategies
. Teachers and school administrators were excited to share their
expertise and experience, to get more ideas how to take advantage of mobile
devices present in the classroom, and to learn how to recognize and address
signs of burnout and exhaustion.

During the two days of
the Seminar, Fulbright scholars and students presented the results from their
teaching and research projects in Bulgaria, and the thirty-two English Teaching
Assistants offered creative insight into
their work with students both inside and outside of class, commented on their
personal growth, discussed takeaways from their life in the country, and warmed the
hearts of fellow grantees, mentor
teachers, school principals, and organizers with the emotional expression of their gratitude for the love and support
they have received this year.

Special guests to the
event were representatives of the main sponsor of the ETA Program in Bulgaria –
The America for Bulgaria Foundation, and of the first ETA corporate sponsor –
ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3. Natalia Miteva, education program director at ABF
thanked the participants in the Program, and officially closed the event. The
Foundation has been the main sponsor of the Fulbright │ America for Bulgaria
Foundation English Teaching Assistants program since 2010.

The Seminar concluded with a farewell dinner at The Brewery, where participants tried local craft beer, enjoyed delicious food, danced, and sang. The Fulbright choir made sure that everyone will remember them long after they are gone with their amazing performance (click here to see and hear that this is not an exaggeration).

The school year may be over, but the friendships built throughout it are
here to stay. We would like to thank our American grantees, and
their Bulgarian host institutions for their contribution to the mission of the
Fulbright program for cultural and educational exchange, and to wish them the
best of luck in their future endeavors. Special shout out goes to the America for
Bulgaria Foundation, ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 TPP, and the companies
Assarel-Medet, Opticoelectron, and Optix for their trust, generosity, and
continuous support.