The arrival of Spring in Sofia was marked by several activities for Bulgarian and US Fulbright grantees and alumni. On April 12, we welcomed two Bulgarian Fulbright alumni, who organized workshops to share their success stories with fellow Fulbrighters. Dr. Shaban Darakchi’s workshop was directed at young researchers and scholars who would like to gain insight into publishing in high impact-factor academic journals. Professor Dobrinka Georgieva’s session was directed at scholars and administrators who work in international education and who would like to learn more about the successful management and coordination of Erasmus + and Fulbright Specialist programs. Both workshops were very well received and engaged the participants in active discussions. We hope that this initiative will encourage more Fulbright alumni to share experience, skills, and good practices with their colleagues, and the Commission will be happy to provide a forum for that.
In the evening after the workshops, Bulgarian and American Fulbright grantees and alumni gathered for a cocktail reception at a local restaurant. This traditional Fulbright happy hour provided a platform for Bulgarians and Americans to meet, enjoy themselves, exchange experiences and network.
On the following day, April 13, Bulgarian and American Fulbrighters participated in our third annual Fulbright Volunteer Day. A group of 30 Bulgarians and Americans went up the mountain to Vitosha National Park, where we cleaned up hiking trails and painted signs and benches in the Zlatnite Mostove (Golden Bridges) region. Grantees and alumni, staff members and friends worked with great pleasure side by side, enjoying the opportunity to do something positive for the environment. We will continue our efforts to integrate volunteerism into our programming, recognizing not only its valuable contribution to the community at large, but also the fact that volunteers gain a greater sense of belonging to the community.