Alumni Update: Moldova

My name is Radu Marian and I’m from Republic of Moldova. I’ve completed my Global UGRAD Program in 2013 at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM).

I am currently a Member of Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, as vice president of the Economic, Budget and Finance Parliament Committee.  I am also the vice president (business & economy portfolio) of the Party of Action and Solidarity, Moldova’s governing party.

Prior to becoming a parliament member, I co-founded and managed TwentyTu – an educational project that provides online IT & entrepreneurship courses free of charge to school children in Moldova. I graduated with a Master’s degree in International Business at the University of Edinburgh (UK). Right after completing the Global UGRAD Program and my bachelor’s, I was the communication manager for Expert-Grup, a leading think-tank in the country.

At ULM, it was the first time I ever got the opportunity to live and study abroad. I created my first long-lasting friendships with people from around the world, expanded my worldview, and learned to dream bigger.

In the United States, I learned that human connection goes way beyond nationality, religion, ethnic or political views. The town of Monroe, Louisiana is a somewhat small and traditional place. Nevertheless,  I was particularly impressed by the friendliness of locals toward international students. One great example is Dr. Bill Rambin, former faculty member at the university, who was our friend and mentor during that year. He’s the one that made us feel welcome in the United States from the beginning and helped us integrate into the community very fast. The dinners at his house with fellow American and international students were one of our most cherished experiences during the Global UGRAD Program, thus the United States became my second home.

I always dreamed to study abroad, and I was incredibly lucky to do that both in the United States and UK. Nevertheless, I always knew I would be back in my home country to make an effort to improve the community around me. I didn’t expect to be involved politically at such a young age, but our team of young people saw a golden window of opportunity to act. After years of effort, in July 2021, our political party has managed to win elections and gain a parliamentary majority. We are now in the position to start implementing the changes Moldovans have been expecting for decades – improving governance, tackling rampant corruption, or bringing economic opportunities. I will continue to be involved locally in the near future. But in the long term, I hope I will be able to involve myself into more global issues, such as fighting income inequality or promoting a more sustainable model of capitalism.

Radu Marian, Moldova, Global UGRAD 2013-2014, the University of Louisiana at Monroe