Since completing her Work & Travel USA program in 2016, Nina Kharlamova returned to Russia and moved to Moscow to work in the energy sector. She is currently working to develop the local renewable energy market in Russia. Her ultimate goal is to establish a shared energy village where communities can share use of renewable energy without paying exorbitant costs. This idea, combined with her passion for renewable energy, was one of the reasons why she applied for a CIEE Exchange Ambassador Grant.
Nina was awarded a “Professional Development” grant which enabled her to attend the International Student Week in Ilmenau, a conference for students organized by students. ISWI is known for its focus on group work, lectures and debates on a certain global topics, like renewable energy, to which the conference is dedicated. Nina was excited to attend and was eager to meet other students who share her interests and to establish contacts with others that have a similar passion for renewable green energy.
At the conference, Nina said that she improved her understanding of renewable energy on a global level. By attending the conference, she was able to meet other students from around the world who shared their ideas, perspectives, and experiences with renewable energy with each other. This gave Nina a new perspective on how different counties, with different economies and histories, have varied approaches and ideas regarding environmental sustainability. Attending the conference helped her understand that each country may be different, but that together, the students had a common goal to do their best to become energy-positive and country-positive. According to Nina, “I have faced the fact that we are actually very similar! People from India, Russia, Venezuela and so on, have resembling problems. Despite our cultures are so different, there are still many things on which we agree. Sometimes, we should not judge countries that are not supporting some green initiatives but be patient and supportive and work together to find solutions.”
Nina is currently working on her project related to the renewable energy market on the community level. The goal of her project is to “enable people to choose the energy the way they are choosing vegetables in the supermarket. You can simply go for the cheapest ones, buy something ecologically friendly or support the local producer. My aim is to let people choose energy as consciously as now they pick their diet.”
To learn more about the CIEE Exchange Ambassador Grants, please visit our website.