College welcomes 3 students in competitive exchange program

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 24, 2009

Riverland Community College welcomes three new international students on campus as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Eurasia and Central Asia (Global UGRAD). These new Riverland students include Tatia Gogoladze from Georgia, Kanykei Kadyrberdieva from Kyrgyzstan, and Victoria Vlad from Moldova.

The Global UGRAD Program aims to advance youth leadership and promote mutual understanding by providing one year of non-degree U.S. study to undergraduates from 12 countries of the former Soviet Union. In addition to their academic studies, Global UGRAD fellows perform community service, explore American traditions through the unique Cultural Passport to America program, and internships.

The Global UGRAD program is highly competitive, averaging more than 3000 applications per year with a five-percent rate of acceptance.

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The program in Eurasia & Central Asia is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the Department of State and administered by the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX). Since 1992, nearly 4,000 participants have completed the program, increasing diversity on more than 140 campuses throughout the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to promote friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations, as mandated by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchanges Act of 1961. ECA accomplishes its mission through a range of programs based on the benefits of mutual understanding, international educational and cultural exchange, and leadership development. For more information about ECA exchanges, visit

IREX is an international nonprofit organization providing leadership and innovative programs to improve the quality of education, strengthen independent media, and foster pluralistic civil society development. Founded in 1968, IREX has an annual portfolio of $60 million and a staff of more than 500 professionals worldwide. IREX and its partner IREX Europe deliver cross-cutting programs and consulting expertise in more than 100 countries. For more information about IREX, visit

IREX approves colleges to host students and Riverland Community College has been a partner with the IREX program for more than 5 years.  “We are honored to host these incredibly talented students,” said Melodee Morem, Riverland’s International student adviser.  “Last year students presented information about their countries on campus, at community organizations, and to students at Sumner Elementary School.  What a wonderful way to enrich diversity on campus and in our community.”