Published by the Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange (Fulbright), the EducationUSA Stories is a collection of stories by Bulgarian students who have studied/are currently studying the Unites States. This collection of inspiring stories by students from all around the country give an insight into the experiences studying in the U.S. offers.
I contributed to the project by sharing some of my most memorable experiences about my journey coming from the small town of Septemvri to graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). The stories that I share are my way of showing my gratitude to those who’ve inspired and encouraged me; passing it forward to others; as well as passing it back to those who’ve supported me on my journey.
You can download the PDF from the link below.
Summary of stories:
Georgi is an 18-year old boy from a small town in southern Bulgaria. One frigid February morning, he takes a trip with his grandfather to Fulbright’s EducationUSA Center. From there, he applies to U.S. colleges and receives admission to one of the top tech schools in the country, with just enough funds to cover his first semester. Georgi writes letters to Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, and foundations from his home country and around the world. One of them responds and gives him a scholarship. Georgi prepares to move to the United States, knowing he won’t be returning home anytime soon.
Georgi goes through the process of adapting to a markedly different environment, overcoming the challenges and anxiety of being in a country where no one speaks his native language, and making new friendships. He reconnects with his cousin who he hasn’t seen in 15 years.
Georgi appreciates the opportunities that come his way and likes to spread his joy to others. His positive attitude and desire to get to know those around him wins the sympathy of his co-workers, two Rotary Clubs, and a Rotarian who becomes his U.S. Godmother.
There’s a powerful contrast between all of the wonderful opportunities that come his way and the anxiety of trying to cover his tuition and living expenses, not knowing if he’ll continue his education at the end of his freshman year. Georgi comes to consider the school’s campus his second home and completes his degree with his cousin and co-workers cheering for him in the crowd against all odds.