A group of six UCF faculty members and six public school teachers will travel to Russia this summer to gain a better understanding of the Russian language and culture.

Alla Kourova, an associate professor of Russian and TESOL, and Maria C. Santana, director of the UCF Women’s and Gender Studies program, earned a $91,795 grant from the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program at the U.S. Department of Education for a program they developed.

The group will spend 30 days in Russia learning about its culture and language. The experience will include pre-departure and post-departure programs at UCF focusing on culture, history and politics as the means to understand the role and realities of Russia in the international community, its historical stages and the current political influence. Studying Russian language, culture, history, politics and Russia’s global impact are expected to help instructors increase their linguistic and cultural competence as well as promote the integration of humanities and international studies across the curricula, Kourova said.

Workshops, educational excursions, social activities and research topics are all part of the program to ensure a comprehensive immersion in culture and language, Kourova added.

Moscow State and Moscow City universities will host the UCF program.

“This opportunity will generate interest and more understanding on the culture, people and language of Russia,” said Santana, a co-principal investigator of the project. “We hope the UCF faculty and K-12 teachers visiting Russia will enrich their curriculum offerings based on this unique experience.”

The teachers selected for the trip come from Seminole, Orange, and Osceola counties.

To learn more about the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program, click here: www.ed.gov/programs/iegpsgpa/index.html