Tom Glassman - a Fulbright Specialist's experience at ULIM

In November, 2014 I had the privilege of teaching at ULIM as a Fulbright Specialist. I taught a two-week course on Insurance Law for students in the Faculty of Law, as well as for Economics majors. Our class was taught in a hybrid manner, blending American teaching styles with styles students were more accustomed to. I presented hypothetical situations and we would discuss what legal issues were presented. We discussed the corresponding rights and obligations of insurers and their customers.

Insurance Law is increasingly important to both the Moldovan economy, as well as to the further development of the legal system.  In 2013, there was a 10% increase in insurance premiums paid, compared to 2012.  That figure will certainly increase in 2014.

Our class focused on insurance issues impacting both individuals, as well as businesses.  We discussed issues which frequently arise with automobile claims.  We also discussed complexities involving claims for damage to buildings and for business losses.  Since our class was based in law, naturally we also discussed disputes between insurers, their agents, and their customers, and different ways to resolve those disputes.

Globalization also impacted our discussions, as we addressed issues for companies in Moldova engaged in international business.  We reviewed how there are many different types of insurance available besides just automobile, health, and life policies.  These discussions were in a practical context, for example reviewing the different types of insurance applicable to the wine industry.

Our class was not always serious.  One day we met to watch American movies about law.  The movies we considered included “My Cousin Vinny,” “Legally Blonde,” “A Few Good Men,” and “The Rainmaker.”  Of course we also had popcorn!

In addition to the class, I had a number of opportunities to interact within the ULIM community.  I attended concerts.  I met with professors.  I was able to attend other classes.  Perhaps one of the funniest parts of my visit was right after a concert.  As I left the concert hall, I saw a student wearing a Cleveland Indians hat.  The Indians are my favorite American sports team and I never expected to see their hat more than 8,000 kilometers from home!

I enjoyed my time with the students, professors, and administrators at ULIM.  I made many friends whom I look forward to staying in contact with and look forward to seeing again.