In a year bustling with virtual events, alumni in Ukraine have learned to get creative with their methods of FLEX program promotion. Alumni have begun recording interviews, launching podcasts, and creating YouTube videos to get the word out. Take a look at some of these initiatives below!
Kyiv Future is a leading podcast in Ukraine featuring over 250 interviews with talented and action-oriented youth, including 45 FLEX alumni speaking about their U.S. experiences and how these have shaped their lives.Every interview is unique, which allows the listeners to perceive the FLEX program through various perspectives: from living in a small town with a large family to enjoying life in a big city with a single parent; trying all the American extra-curricular activities; or volunteering for more than 100 hours.
The podcast series is in English and can be accessed through the following platforms:
Apple Podcasts: http://kyivfuture.com/
Google Podcasts: https://bit.ly/3DA00hb
FLEXTalks by Alyona Budina ’05
Alyona Budina ’05 launched a series of interviews with fellow alumni on YouTube to promote the FLEX Program, as well as U.S. culture and traditions, among Ukrainian youth. The interviews are dedicated to informing the public about the application process but also about the personal experiences of alumni, including the challenges and cultural shocks they experienced and overcame.
ExchangeMe Podcast by Denys Andrushchenko ’12
Denys Andrushchenko ’12 is the founder of the ExchangeMe podcast, which is supported by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. The podcast aims to gather the alumni of various exchange programs and have them share their experiences, as well as how the lessons they learned have impacted their lives afterwards. More than 100 alumni from various exchange programs, such as FLEX, Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD), Chevening, Open World, Fulbright, and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) have participated in the podcast series. Right now, there are five interviews with FLEX alumni, with many more planned.
The podcast also partners with the Ukrainian media outlet ShoTam? and creates contests for the listeners, where they can tell their stories in the comments and share the podcast with more people, this way promoting the FLEX Program and other USG Programs.
The interviews are in English and can be accessed through the following platforms:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3GaAznW
Google Podcasts: https://bit.ly/3G5FSVI
Pocket Cast: https://pca.st/gwz3h405
FLEX Virtual Kitchen
FLEX Alumni Coordinator of Eastern Ukraine Stanislava Borovska ’18 (Kharkiv, Ukraine/Otsego, MI) and Kharkiv City Representative Mykyta Lunin ’19 (Kharkiv, Ukraine/Falling Waters, WV) came up with the idea of creating a culinary talk-show with guests sharing their experiences while cooking iconic American dishes, such as pumpkin pie, and grilled cheese.
The project has set an amazing example for how online activities can be fun and engaging.
Written by Diana Shalashna ’18 and Stanislava Borovska ’18