By Keren G. Raz
Since the inception of the Flinn Foundation’s Eastern Europe Seminar six years ago, Therese Buchmeier has been the familiar face that always greets the freshmen upon their arrival in Hungary.
But this year the Flinn Scholars program has had to say goodbye to Therese. Earlier this year she stepped down from her position as deputy director of the Institute of International Education Central Europe office. She is now pursuing an intensive 11 month MBA program at England’s Cranfield University School of Management.
For Therese, who had worked for IIE for eight years, it was the time to move on—although she said there are parts of her job she will miss..
“In May I’ll be in withdrawal because I’ll miss the Flinn program so much,” she said. “That was my favorite part of the job. I always looked forward to it so much.”
Therese said that she especially valued the opportunity to meet the Flinn Scholars. She has been able to stay in touch with many of them over the past few years, including several from the class of 1999, the first Flinn class to travel to Eastern Europe.
As for her favorite memories, she said “the annual hike is always one of the greatest times.”
“There’s always something, whether it’s a gentle walk that turns into a mountain climbing expedition or a mudslide, and the way that everyone rises to the occasion there’s always something exciting there.”
Therese had one piece of advice for those who will participate in the Eastern Europe seminar under new leadership.
“In order to have a wonderful experience, keep an open mind and remember that you are a guest, and it is a privilege to be there,” she said. “Also, no matter how well things are planned, the unexpected will always happen. That can either be the end of the world or the opportunity to try something different. It’s up to you to make the most of it.