Alumni Profile: Lani Seelinger
Issued: Thu, 08 Sep 2016 10:24:00 BST
What is your background?
I grew up in Durham, North Carolina, before going to Northwestern University in Chicago for my undergraduate study. While I was there, I started studying Russian and Czech language. This led to an increasing interest in the Central and East European region, and I eventually graduated with a minor in Slavic Studies. After finishing school, I wanted to live abroad, so I first went to Georgia to teach English in a small town east of Tbilisi and then moved to Liberec, Czech Republic, to spend a year there as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. It was there that I discovered the IMRCEES program, and the rest is history.
What is the best memory from the programme?
All of my best memories from the program revolve around the friends that I made there. I count them among my best friends in the world, as we all have this niche interest that not too many people share. Looking back, my favorite memories mostly involve trips that we’ve taken together – to Istanbul, to Transylvania, to Moldova, to the Baltic States, or to Belarus for the hockey world championships, just for example. Whenever we have reunions, I’m reminded of how wonderful it was having everyone in one place in Glasgow.
What are you doing now?
Now, I live in Prague, freelance writing and working in the educational department at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes. We develop history-teaching materials, and my specific focus is trying to help teach communist history to those whose countries did not experience it. If you’d like an example of what we do, the website that we’re been developing is called Socialism Realised: www.socialismrealised.eu.
What advice would you give to our current students and applicants?
I have three pieces of advice – talk to everyone on your program, because you may never be part of such an interesting and diverse group again. Take every trip that comes your way, because you’re in the perfect position to enjoy them. And explore Glasgow while you’re there – it may not have a communist past, but chances are that you’ll end up somewhere else, so take advantage of all that it has to offer while you can.