Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Orkhan Vahabov: Building Capacity for Azerbaijan's Future

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Orkhan Vahabov, International Policy student

Orkhan stands proudly by the flag of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

November 19, 2009

Back in my home country of Azerbaijan, I studied International Economic Relations at the State Economic University. After that, I worked in the marketing division of the State Oil Company. I lived there all my life, had great friends and had a great time. But I realized I wanted to do more. With globalization and the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan has trade and energy relations with the EU and the USA. To have a good job and a successful career, I needed to improve my English, and get a master's degree from abroad.

So I applied to the ESL program at the Monterey Institute. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to come to the USA, but I decided to do it. I took classes that helped me improve my English and get the TOEFL score that I needed to apply to universities here. While studying in the ESL program, I met a lot of graduate students who told me about their classes. I also saw that there was a program similar to the one that I studied in at my university in Azerbaijan. I applied to the International Policy Studies (IPS) program with a concentration in Trade Policy and got accepted!

Now I am a first semester student at the Institute, and I enjoy all my classes. After I graduate, I will go back to Azerbaijan and do my best to implement what I have learned here in the U.S. Azerbaijan needs more people who are educated abroad to help improve the current situation in our economy and other sectors. And I want to be one of them. I wouldn’t have been able to apply to the IPS program if I hadn’t taken any of the ESL classes. I am grateful for my experience in the program because studying there really helped me improve my English.


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