On 6 June, the official graduation ceremony for students from Freiburg University of Education (Germany) was held in the conference hall of the main building of Voronezh State University. The students were awarded certificates which prove that they had completed an exchange study course at the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology and studied “Social and cultural aspects of teaching foreign languages” within the master’s degree programme “Foreign Language Teaching with the Application of Online Technologies”.
The ceremony started with a welcoming speech by the Vice Rector for Research and Innovations, Vasily Popov. In his speech he drew the attention of the audience to another important step in the development of the cooperation between Voronezh State University and Freiburg University of Education.
“The cooperation between our universities was launched two years ago thanks to a Tempus – DeTel project which included among its members a representative of Freiburg University of Education – the Director of the Institute of English Studies, Thomas Wright.” Dr. Wright has already visited VSU five times. This time he brought another group of 13 students to study at the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology. The first group completed their training at VSU between 21 September and 2 October 2017.
The dean of the faculty, Olga Boriskina, welcomed the students and told the guests of the ceremony about their training between 28 May and 6 June. While studying at the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology, students of Freiburg University of Education were introduced to the master’s programme “Foreign Language Teaching with the Application of Online Technologies” which is based on the online platform “Moodle”. They also took part in a workshop on psycholinguistic studies carried out by the followers of L.S. Vygotsky, and visited English language classes in further education institutions, and afterwards they had a discussion about teaching methods.
There was also a varied entertainment programme. VSU students of the master’s degree programme “Foreign Language Teaching with the Application of Online Technologies” organised walking and interactive tours around Voronezh that helped our guests learn more about Russian traditions and the sights of Voronezh. They also visited VSU’s nature reserve "Galichya Gora”, Zadonsk, an open air ethnographic museum “A village of the 17th–18th centuries” in Ertil, and the ship museum Goto Predestiantia.
In her response, the representative of students from Freiburg University of Education, Madita Graumann, thanked the Vice Rector and the dean of the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology for the opportunity to learn more about the system of pedagogical education in Russia and the varied entertainment programme. The German students wanted to express special gratitude to the lecturers from the Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology, Associate Professors Elena Chaika and Marina Stcherbakova.
At the end of the ceremony, the participants discussed the results of the joint learning sessions by the Russian and German students and they expressed their hope for further fruitful cooperation between the partner universities.