Alumni stories

My experience in my Humphrey Year

It is a great pleasure for me to share with my fellow alumni some of my thoughts and memories of my Humphrey Fellowship Year in 2010-2011. I was fortunate to be selected as one of the 2010 Humphrey Fellows and I am very grateful to the U.S. Government, Institute of International Education, the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia and people of America for this opportunity .

Previously I had attended schools in France and Thailand, but there was a lot of uniqueness in the Humphrey Fellowship Program. It gave me opportunities to network with American professionals and people, to improve my theoreti-cal and practical knowledge and skills through attending academic courses and professional meetings and conferences. I have tried to use this great opportu-nity to its fullest potential.

There are so many stories and memories that I can share with you. But con-sidering the space constraint in the news letter let me share the ones, which might be beneficial for others to know.

During my Humphrey Fellowship year I was lucky to find life-long friends. My close friends are from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Botswana. We used to help each other, learn from each other and spend our times together. One of the core advantages of this program was to develop myself professionally through doing professional affiliation. I was lucky enough to work with two different organizations. Since in Mongolia the decentralization issue was on the top of reforms and my job requires knowledge of best practices in this area, I did my internship at the City of East Lansing in order to improve my knowledge of American local government structure and its way of managing financial resources. It was a pleasure to work with the city manager, Ted Sta-ton, who generously shared his work on how to overcome budget deficit dur-ing the economic crisis and how to improve the taxation system. The course “Issues of Public Policy” was an additional help for me to understand the taxation policy in the Unites States, and I am proud of having had an aca-demic interaction with one of the most well known professors in the U.S. Through my other internship I worked with a businessman who intends to invest in Mongolia. Both my bosses were truly impressed with Mongolia and promised to visit my country sometime in future.

During our experience, we, Humphrey fellows, were impressed by the legacy of Senator Hubert Humphrey, truly marked by integrity, compassion and initiative, fascinated by the personality of Hillary Clinton, and moved by the sincerity of purpose exhibited by President Carter. I also had a chance to listen to a speech given by former president Bill Clinton.

I lived in East Lansing, Michigan, which has weather similar to Mongolia. It was therefore natural for me to adapt to the climatic conditions prevailing in the Michigan State. Further, I was telling my friends and colleagues how to deal with cold weather, especially with snow. We had fun times while skiing, sledding and having BBQ. I had my host friend who introduced me to the niceties of the rich and vibrant American culture, especially during the holi-days we used to stay together to celebrate diversity. It was nice chance for me to cook Mongolian food for them and I appreciate that they received the unfamiliarity of a different culture and food with grace and dignity.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude again to the Department of State and I will be happy to inspire other people with this great program and share the information and knowledge which I gained during the fellowship.

With the students of class on Asian Economy after presentation