Foreign Fulbright Students join Millennial Trains Project

NEW YORK, July 30, 2014—Five Fulbright Foreign Students will join twenty young American social entrepreneurs on the 2014 Millennial Trains Project, a cross-country train journey traveling from Portland, OR to New York, NY from August 6-18th.The participants will pursue individual projects ranging from urban planning and sustainability to small business culture and food security. Everywhere the train stops, participants will connect with local leaders and experts, conduct research and have the opportunity to explore their projects in the contexts of diverse U.S. cities.

The Fulbright Foreign Students represent Colombia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia and Yemen and are studying at universities across the U.S. as part of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, which IIE administers on behalf of the U.S. Department of State.

MTP’s founder, Patrick Dowd, was inspired by a similar train project he took part in during his Fulbright experience to India in 2011. After a successful inaugural train project in 2013, this year’s journey will launch in Portland, OR on August 7th and travel to Seattle, WA, Whitefish, MT, St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN, Milwaukee, WI, and Chicago, IL and end in New York, NY on August 17th with media interview opportunities in New York on Monday, August 18th and a White House event on August 20th.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has issued the following Media Note on their website:

Five Fulbright Foreign Students Join the 2014 Millennial Trains Project

The U.S. Department of State has selected five Fulbright Foreign Students to participate in the second Millennial Trains Project (MTP) voyage across the United States from August 7-17th. As an enrichment component of the Fulbright Foreign Student exchange program, the MTP will provide 25 participants with an in-depth understanding of life in the United States and opportunities to strengthen their skills in leadership, social entrepreneurship, and communication while travelling by train from Portland, Oregon, to New York, New York.

On board the train, participants will take part in leadership development training using curriculum developed by the education nonprofit City Year, and will participate in workshops conducted by thought leaders across the United States. All five Fulbright Students will post personal blogs and social media during the trip.

The Fulbright Foreign Students on the train include:

  • Alyas Widita, Indonesia, studying urban development and planning at the University of Iowa
  • Ekaterina Nikolaeva, Russia, studying economics at Brandeis University
  • Ammar Mohammed, Yemen, studying social work at the School for International Training Graduate Institute
  • Anser Shaukat, Pakistan, studying painting and printmaking at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
  • Silvia Tijo, Colombia, studying engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology

The State Department Acting Special Advisor for Youth Engagement Andy Rabens will meet with students on board the train travelling from Portland to Seattle August 7-8th and Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board Chairman Tom Healy will greet the train upon its arrival in New York on August 15th. The Millennial Trains Project was founded in 2013 by Fulbright alumnus Patrick Dowd. While in India on his Fulbright exchange, Dowd participated in the Jagriti Yatra train voyage across India and was inspired by how it brought young people together to provide mentorship and entrepreneurial development.

To follow updates on the Fulbrighters during their voyage visit their blog, or search for #MTPTrain and #Fulbright on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. For more information about the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and people of other countries, visit:

For press inquiries, please contact ECA Press at or (202) 632-6552.

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations.


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