Since 1961, our university has been training high level specialists from other countries, and now it has become recognised as the leading education centre in Russia that provides training to international students. Together with lectures on special subjects, VSU international students also attend Russian language classes. Over 1000 international students from 80 countries come to study at our university every year. In the last 50 years, over 15 thousand international students from 141 countries have studied at VSU.
As a result, there has developed an internationally recognised academic and research centre of Russian as a foreign language that ensures our success as an international education centre. Textbooks and study guides in Russian as a foreign language, by VSU lecturers and researchers, are widely used in other education centres for international students. There are also several multimedia learning programmes for students, developed with the support from the Ministry of Education and Science, and the Russkiy Mir Foundation.
Now, VSU Rector Dmitry Endovitsky has initiated the process of establishing several Russian language centres in Spain, France and Germany.
Russian language centre in Spain
The project was launched 25 years ago at Leon University, and since then a lot of Spanish students have learned Russian in the centre. They learn not just the language, but also the culture. They read Russian literature and study Russian customs and traditions. Every summer students from Spain come to Voronezh to attend Russian language courses.
Six years ago Leon University introduced a special scholarship for the best student learning Russian. The scholarship was dedicated to the head of the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language Larisa Ivanova, who actively promoted Russian studies at Leon University.
Our Spanish colleagues are most interested in organising workshops with VSU lecturers, short-term advanced training courses for teachers of Russian as a foreign language, and certificate exams for Spanish students.
The Centre will also organise various competitions in language and culture knowledge, festivals of Russian and Spanish culture and summer language schools for Spanish students.
Russian language centre in France
The Russian language centre in France is being established jointly with the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) in Paris, and the University of Lille 3: Arts and Humanities.
VSU has been collaborating with INALCO – which has the largest Department of Russian Language in France – since 1994. The first agreement between our universities resulted in establishing a special foreign language centre at VSU that enhanced academic and business relations between Russia and France. INALCO is well known for its high level of teaching oriental languages, and thus our students got a wonderful opportunity to learn Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and other languages.
A partnership agreement between Voronezh State University and University Lille 1: Sciences and Technologies and Lille 3: Arts and Humanities was signed in 2013, and a student exchange programme was launched in 2014. In 2015, a partnership agreement between VSU, University Lille 1 and Oxylane Decathlon Russia was signed. The agreement includes a joint academic programme "Commercial network management" that presupposes internships at the Decathlon company in Voronezh for students studying at VSU, and internships at Oxylane Decathlon in Lille for students studying at University Lille 1.
Our partners are also interested in opening a Russian language centre in France. It is proposed that the centre will carry out work in the following areas – teaching, methodology, research, intercultural communication, and Russian language courses for French students. Apart from learning Russian at home, French students will get an opportunity to attend master-classes, language clubs, and conferences.
Russian language centre in Germany
The Centre will be opened at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. Since 1964, our universities have been successfully collaborating and conducting joint research and projects in intercultural studies of various communication spheres, as well as running student exchange programmes. The Faculty of Philology and the Institute of Slavic Studies at the Martin Luther University have been conducting joint research with the support by DAAD.
The Centre will organise classes in Russian phonetics, speaking, colloquial Russian, several courses in Russian culture, and intensive summer courses.
The German Alumni Association of Voronezh State University (DAWU) has been functioning in Germany for 15 years, and its members are actively collaborating with VSU. In August 2015, VSU held the German Alumni Association Forum.
Apart from Europe, VSU is also running two Russian language centres in China.