Benefitting from a grant from the U.S. Fulbright program, Heidi Allen, Associate Professor in the Business Management Technology program, spent two months at the National Mining University in Ukraine last spring teaching Business English to Ukrainian students, who came from the eastern part of Ukraine near the Russian border. As a result of this international teaching program, at 9:00 a.m. on February 3, 2014, NEIT students in the International Business class conducted an online video conference with students from the National Mining University. It was 4:00 p.m. Ukraine time when Kate Piyak, Sasha Saitova, Pavel Slepchenko, Valeryi Bezkorovainyi, and Julia Sveshnikova Skyped with NEIT students Casey Pennell, Nathan White, Codie Picard, Norman Nilsson, and Tiana Lonardo via an Internet café in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.
The Skype conference was the first opportunity for Heidi’s Ukrainian students to interact with her New England Tech students. The students discussed families, studies, hobbies, and common interests for about 45 minutes and ended with promises to reconnect in the near future through Skype, Facebook, and email, and so they have! Music has been a common denominator in many conversations. New England Tech students have asked about the political unrest in Ukraine. Some NEIT students are even learning to speak a little Russian. Two of the Ukrainian students will be visiting the United States this summer through a work program and hope to visit NEIT during their time here.