Education, Arizona State University, Phoenix (Tempe Campus)
During the FDAI program, my professional and personal horizons were broadened and enriched as a result of the everyday contact with U.S. educators, instructors, advisors, pupils, and colleagues from 11 countries of the world. I experienced everyday school life on-site, was amazed by the politeness and warmth of co-teachers and high school students, learned new teaching techniques that are easily applicable in my country, and got many ideas that I can implement in my school so as to solve everyday practical issues. On top of that, my inquiry project was the ultimate result of the whole educational experience! Thanks to the passionate and deeply experienced professors I cooperated with, I conducted contemporary research on effective teaching methods that tackle students’ low performance in language and arts. Furthermore, the Fulbright Teacher Exchange program helped me combine different elements from my previous and ongoing professional development in order to bring about change in my school’s community.
At a personal level, I created valuable friendships where deep appreciation, respect and support formed the basic elements. Through my 'friendship family' I came closer to U.S. culture and everyday life. By interacting with my fellows I appreciated more and understood better the customs of different cultures and, -what a surprise!- admiration was cultivated on each side. In my opinion, one of the biggest benefits was the breaking down of stereotypes of what people from different continents of the world represent.
In the end, I am so thrilled that the cooperation with U.S. educators, institutions and fellows from other countries continues as we set up new projects. Definitely, these were the MOST interesting 4 months of my life from every aspect!
Ilianna Anagnostakou is a Fulbright Alumna of the 2020-2021 FDAI Program
Photo Credits: Ilianna Anagnostakou