FAYETTE, Iowa (May 30, 2008) - Three Eurasian students will spend the 2008-09 academic year on the Upper Iowa University (UIU) Fayette campus as part of the International Research and Exchange (IREX) grant program.
Students selected for the one-year scholarship include Tural Zamanov (Azerbaijan), Iryna Mendzel (Belarus), and Nasim Muhamedov (Tajikistan) will arrive Aug. 20 for orientation and be enrolled as third-year students in Upper Iowa's business program.
"These are exceptional students from some of the finest European universities," said Brian More, UIU coordinator for international recruitment. "This could possibly be their only opportunity to study in the United States, so Upper Iowa is committed to making the experience top-quality." More, who has a degree in international relations, history and political science, as well as a certificate in international cultural communications, will serve as liaison for the students while they are on campus.
Zamanov is an economics major from Azerbaijan State Oil Academy, Baku; Mendzel is studying marketing, management and entrepreneurship at Belarusian National Technical University; and Muhamedov is an economy and business major at Khujand Branch of Technological University of Tajikistan.
The students will hold J-1 visas as they are not degree-seeking status. In addition to taking full-time business courses at Upper Iowa, each will be required to serve a part-time internship and perform 20 hours of community service while in the U.S. The students will return to their home countries in May, 2009.
The IREX program is administered through the U.S. Department of State, but More is responsible for implementing the IREX program at UIU. He submitted an application in January that outlined Upper Iowa's academic accreditation, degree programs, support services, community service opportunities, cultural activities, and available internships.
The Eurasian students applied for the highly-competitive IREX scholarships through the American Embassy in their respective countries, which required three written essays and a personal interview process. The students are also TOEFL-certified (Test of English as a Foreign Language).
"The IREX program is one of the best programs in the Department of State to enhance citizen diplomacy," said DeWayne Frazier, UIU senior vice president for international programs. "The program allows top students from emerging Eastern European countries to come to the United States to learn about our culture and at the same time enrich our campuses with their culture."
For more details on the IREX program, go to http://www.irex.org/programs/ugrad/index.asp. For more information about Upper Iowa University and its degree programs, go to www.uiu.edu.
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