January 21, 2013

Paul J. Meyer has said, “Connection-human connection- is the key to personal and career success.”

At the University of Central Florida, students in the intermediate-level Russian Language program have traversed the globe to eliminate cultural and language barriers to foster enduring connections. Through an ongoing project called “Connecting Classrooms,” each UCF student learning Russian is paired up with a Russian student from Lyceum #7 in Novocherkassk, Rostov-on-Don, Russia to collaborate on projects encompassing both Russian and English communication.

More than just language is being exchanged as students foster cultural diversity, tolerance and real-life interactions that enrich their views about the global society we live in today. With every conversation, students go beyond their boundaries of communication. Knowledge of each student’s life and background are shared through Skype conferences and ongoing emails spanning the past two academic years.

In summer 2012, five American students visited the Novocherkassk region to be guests in the homes of their Russian pen pals. Now our UCF students are returning the invitation by organizing a March visitation for their previous Russian hosts, their English teacher and school principal.