Interview with Benjamin Franklin Fellowship program’s alumnus Rihards Križanovskis

Interview with Benjamin Franklin Fellowship program’s alumnus Rihards Križanovskis


RICARDS KRIZANOVSKIS: My
name Ricards Krizanovskis, and I am Riga
State Gymnasium No. 1 high school student. And last summer, I was given
a life-changing opportunity to participate in state-funded
program called the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic
Fellowship 2012. And this program was
located in North Carolina, however we have visited
other states as well. Well, my expectations
were really, really high, but the reality was even higher. And I really was unsure about
whether people from so many different countries and cultures
will be able to live together for a month. But in reality, we all
became best friends, and it was really a really
nice experience just because every 68 fellow was
like the biggest friends of mine during these 30 days. And I guess it just– it’s just great. And of course, I didn’t expect
to receive so many insights of American history, politics,
and American relations with other countries. So it was really,
really interesting to get to know all
these facts as well. The very first thing is, of
course, size of everything, started with meals,
cars, cities, buildings. Everything is just–
it was enormous. And it was even funny,
just because I remember when for the first time I
went into some donut shop and ordered large iced tea,
and they give me an almost one liter of glass. So I could barely
hold it in my hands. It was so funny, and
it was just crazy. But then I just got used to it. America is big
size in everything. It’s really funny. Well, professionally, of
course, I acquired lots of– lots of skills that are very
valued nowadays, for example some team working
and leadership skills as well as some abilities
such as problem solving and critical thinking. So these are very valued
and worthwhile nowadays, and I’m really happy
that I had an opportunity to acquire them all. And as for
personally, I’ve got– I acquired so many
friends and I get to know so many people that
I’m staying in touch until now. And it’s very
important for me that I have some people in the
United States or in the Europe that I can always
talk to and work– and work with them as well. After I returned
from the States, I started doing lots of,
lots of social activities. I started to care more about
politics, about my country and the US relationship. Well, of course I
would do anything to have this opportunity
one more time.

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