Studying abroad is a unique experience that Voronezh State University offers to its students. A few VSU students have just come back home after having completed internships in VSU partner universities in Germany. They shared their impressions of the experience.
A forth year student of the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology Anna Dobryanskaya did an exchange course at the Faculty of Philosophy 2 at the Department of Speech Studies and Phonetics of Martin Luther University (Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany):
“As for me, the internship abroad was a highly valuable experience. I am very happy that I had a chance to study and live in the country where German is the native language. I attended lectures and workshops alongside students from Germany, met new people, and every day learnt something new. One of my brightest memories is a linguistic experiment conducted during a class in Psychological Aspects and Methods of Speechology. We had a chance to witness unique research into the foreign accent syndrome. The subject of the research was a young woman, an ethnic German, who had had a stroke and developed a Russian accent - the language she used to study at school. All students had to suggest what assistance could be offered to the patient from the point of view of Speechology and Phonetics. It was very interesting to hear various ideas and suggestions’. Active cooperation between Voronezh State University and Martin Luther University gives a chance to every student to become a part of international interaction and encourages them to study, develop and find their way in life.
Yekaterina Drobysheva, a third year student of the Faculty of Economics, also completed a course at Martin Luther University. She followed the programme “Business Economics” at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Business:
‘The term I spent in one of the oldest German universities was very important for me. I find it highly beneficial to study speciality subjects in a foreign language as it contributes to self-development and professional skills development. It is worth mentioning that the university has a recommended plan of studies. However, along with compulsory subjects, students can choose from a number of subjects from different programmes and include in their individual plan those that appeal to them most. I studied speciality subjects and also chose two courses to improve my German. Martin Luther University pays special attention to languages. A huge number of students from all over the world, new people, new friends – it is a perfect chance to learn more about different cultures, meet new people and learn something new. I studied in an international team and made friends with people from different countries: from Mexico to South Korea.’
Another student who had a chance to do her internship at an old VSU partner-university was a fourth year student of the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology who also studied at the Faculty of Philosophy 2 at the Martin Luther University. Here is what she tells us about the term she spent there.
‘The system of education in Halle is very different from the one we have in Russia. German students can choose those subjects that they like most or need most. More practical methods of teaching are used in the classes: discussions and team work. As a result students learn both from teachers and other students. You do not need to copy notes in lectures as you can find all the necessary material at the student portal Stud.IP which students also use to send their papers to be checked by teachers. The greatest discovery for me was to find out that university libraries work until midnight, and even late at night you can see quite a lot of students in reading halls. About 70% of the studies are independent learning: reading papers, doing projects and preparing reports. When you make a presentation you always get feedback from the group. German students do not hesitate to express their opinion freely even if it is unfavourable. And nobody takes offence. In return, they appreciate criticism that helps them to understand the mistakes and inaccuracies they need to avoid next time and what aims they should follow.