Voronezh State University is actively involved in joint programmes with its Chinese partners, and shows good results in promoting exchange programmes for talented students and scholars, as well as knowledge exchange between Russia and China.
Three VSU students have just returned from Qingdao University of Science and Technology (China) where they completed internships.
‘I can't boast as being well travelled and yet I was about to spend four months in the Celestial Empire. The very first days in a new country were really hard, I was constantly suffering culture shock – everything was so weird and alien. But by and by I got used to it and soon my life was full of new people and fascinating adventures and events. In September, my friends from China, Germany, and I climbed the mountain Laoshan, in October I was in Beijing, where I visited such world famous sights as the Forbidden City, the Great Chinese Wall, and the Summer Palace. As for studying at Qingdao University, I should say that the atmosphere in class was always very friendly and welcoming. Remembering everything I experienced in these four months in China, I realise how much this exchange programme influenced my life. I understood that you have to be active and never be afraid of changes or possible mistakes. I have never regretted going to China to do an internship and I would go there again at the first opportunity,’ said a second year student of the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology Yekaterina Arbuzova.
A third year student of the Faculty of International Relations Yevgenia Bortnikova told us how interesting and eventful was her internship at one of the leading universities in Shandong province:
‘My programme at Qingdao University of Science and Technology had four subjects: Comprehensive Chinese, Chinese Reading, Spoken Chinese, and Aural Chinese. The explanations in class were only in Chinese. However the teachers tried to make it accessible to foreign students, so there were no problems with understanding. What’s more, twice a week I could attend Calligraphy class and a class in Chinese culture. Additionally, the university organised tea ceremonies and national cuisine master classes for foreign students. In our free time, we visited famous sights of Qingdao. My internship in China was not only a great opportunity to learn Chinese but also to meet people from all over the world, who came to Qingdao, just like me. I would like to recommend to those students who are going to take part in this programme to be open to new knowledge and experience and not to be afraid of starting one of the most unforgettable adventures of their lives.’
‘I would like to say a few words about the university academic staff.” I think every foreign student experiences difficulties in the beginning: you are immersed into a new culture, all classes are solely in Chinese, and you hardly ever hear an English word. I would like to thank my teachers for helping me to adapt as quickly as possible. I was amazed by their attitude to students: If you made a mistake when using a word the teacher will show a number of examples to explain when and how this or that term or grammatical structure is used,’ said a third year student of the Faculty of Economics Artem Bochenkov.