This Capstone explores the reentry experiences of ten Azerbaijani Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program alumni. Specifically, changes in their relationships and sense of belonging in their home environment were examined. In-depth, structured interviews were conducted with ten FLEX program alumni originating from outside the capital city of Baku. Other sources of data were interviews with program administrators, study abroad advisors and personal observations. Data analysis showed that males, recent returnees, and interviewees who did not move to the capital city had more difficulty with initial reentry. Gender and location were seen as factors in changes in personal relationships and support. Location and time elapsed since return were also factors in the alumni’s sense of belonging in the home environment after reentry.
The study indicates that more alumni networking and activities are needed in the provinces to provide support and ease the transition for alumni. Further research includes: deeper analysis of the interview data gathered in this study and looking at other variables that could affect readjustment such as homesickness and degree of contact with friends and family in Azerbaijan while in the United States, and level of adaptation to the United States; an extensive longitudinal study over several years of a cohort of FLEX finalists; interviewing expatriated FLEX alumni. The conclusions of this research are of practical use for FLEX program sponsors and administrators who can affect reentry programming for FLEX alumni.
International and Comparative Education | Place and Environment | Regional Sociology
Thompson, Catherine A., "Reentry Adjustment of Azerbaijani FSA/Flex Program Alumni" (2009). Capstone Collection. 988.