I was obviously very excited and also felt privileged of being awarded such grant. It has been over a year since I applied and I am scheduled for traveling in a month from now-September 15. I still remember when I received the email of approval. I was sitting on the school yard´s benches when I got the notification on my phone. I did not scream out of not scaring students that were sitting by. The first person to hear about it was a lady janitor friend sitting right next to me. Then of course I forwarded the message to my wife.
This program, through an American organization called IREX, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State, and, of course the host university where I am landing (Appalachian State University in Charlotte, North Carolina), provides an intensive set of courses and cultural exchange to teachers from countries with a US Embassy.
This fall cohort includes participants from 33 countries. As a teacher who loves connectedness and international relationships, you might imagine how pumped up I am about this opportunity.
I´ve made all my Visa formalities and just ready to hit the plane. I have a full bag with information to read about. One important objective of the program is to increase participants´ knowledge of the United States. Fortunately, I have many friends and meaningful connections with teachers from the US, so I hope I can count on them in case I have any questions. Either way, I did get some booklets with information about Culture, Health and Wellness, and Education.
The only downside to all this is the fact that I will be leaving my family behind for the time being. My wife has been pretty supportive and an important part in my success in applications and approval to the program.
I will be sharing my experiences through this blog. If there is any advice you could provide prior to my travels, I will truly appreciate it.