Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Ilnur Khuzin comes from Russia to teach at PSU

  • Ilnur Khuzin, a young teacher at Naberezhnye Chelny State Trade and Technological Institute, applied in 2011 to become a Fulbright Foreign Language  Teaching Assistant in the United States.

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  • Ilnur Khuzin, a young teacher at Naberezhnye Chelny State Trade and Technological Institute, applied in 2011 to become a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant in the United States.
    The Pittsburg State University modern languages department applied to host a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant to teach Russian during the 2012-2013 academic year.
    Both applications were successful, and Khuzin, from the Tatarstan Republic in Russia, one of Russia’s most economically developed areas, found himself in Kansas.
    “Kansas is popular in Russia because of the Wizard of Oz,” he said. “It’s also interesting because it is in the middle of the United States.”
    He arrived at PSU in August after an orientation at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
    “I will complete my program in May,” Khuzin said. “I have been teaching English in Russia since 2008, and now I’m teaching Russian in the United States.”
    He taught two sections of Russian I during the fall semester, and this semester is teaching a section of Russian I and a section of Russian II.
    “I have different students with different abilities, but they really want to learn about the culture of Russia,” Khuzin said. “They are very diligent.”
    He has also started a Russian Club and serves as its advisor.
    “Students can learn about Russian culture and have conversations with native speakers of Russian,” he said. “I organize movie nights and game nights. I try to select the most appropriate movies that can reflect Russian culture.”
    He said that the group mostly watches movies made during the period of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which was formally dissolved on Dec. 26, 1991.
    “These movies are still popular because they reflect the Russian soul,” Khuzin said.
    He said that he shows students photos of life in Russia and encourages free and open discussion.
    “This is a good opportunity for the students to know everything,” Khuzin said. “We talk about anything they want to.”
    He has also had the opportunity to audit several PSU courses, including classes in U.S. politics and American history.
    This is his second trip to America.
    “I was here in 2003 as a participant in a work-travel program,” he said.
    Khuzin has had the opportunity to travel while here. In December he attended a Fulbright conference in Washington, D.C.
    “All the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants from all over the world gathered to share our experiences,” he said. “We were almost 400 who came here to teach their native languages.”
    He also intended to do some traveling during spring break.
    Khuzin is enjoying his time here.
    “I love to be here and do what I am doing,” he said. “I’m very thankful I have been placed at PSU. I have met so many good people here, and there is a very good work environment.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Khuzin is gratified that he is helping American students get a true picture of Russian culture, and also feels that he is learning much to take back to his students in Russia.
    "I will be able to represent the United States in a better way because I have lived here 10 months and know the culture as it is, not just from reading or watching movies,” he said.

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