Project 5-100 Planning to Develop Russian-German Student ExchangesApril 27, 2015
On 24 April, Elena Chernyshkova (Deputy Executive Director of Project Office 5-100), Stefan Karsch (International Affairs Director at Humboldt University) and Matthias Kuder (Deputy Director of the Center for International Cooperation at Freie Universität Berlin) made a joint presentation within the framework of the StudyWorld International Fair in Berlin. The session was devoted to Russian-German student exchanges.
Elena Chernyshkova outlined the priorities of Project 5-100 in the area of student internationalization and noted the longstanding academic tradition among Russian universities of inviting and welcoming foreign students into their sphere of learning.
Mr. Karsch elaborated on the specifics of studying in Russia which German students will have to face. For example, students wishing to carry out their studies in Russia must have a fairly good command of the Russian language. And he added that “Students will have to learn how to deal with Russian bureaucracy, which, of course, Germany also has.” He also noted that in Russia there is a different format of study which is more focused on lectures than on independent work as is usual in German universities. Karsch spoke too about the various exchange programs available to German students coming to Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg and regional universities) for a semester or to a summer school, and told about scholarship opportunities and the possibility even of studying for free.
“Political tensions do not affect the intensity of student and academic exchanges; the cooperation between scientists and universities has become more intensive in the recent years, ” explained Matthias Kuder – representative of the Free University, which works closely with two Project 5-100 universities – Higher School of Economics and Kazan Federal University. The German contributors in the presentation noted that in addition to Slavonic Studies some of the most popular educational programs among German students include mathematics, the general sciences, physics, and political science. Kuder mentioned that he himself had once gone on a student exchange program to Canada, but concluded that, although he had very much enjoyed the experience, “If I were to choose a study program now, I would choose Russia.”
StudyWorld 2015 is the 10th annual fair to be held under this brand name. It has united more than 170 participants from more than 25 countries including universities and delegations from education ministries, academic exchange and scholarship organizations, and consulting companies. According to its organizers, StudyWorld is visited annually by at least 8 000 people – representatives of universities, courses and colleges, scholars of the German Service of Academic Exchanges (DAAD), and representatives of international exchange institutions. Visitors have also included school pupils as well as German and other foreign students looking for an alma mater, exchange program or internship.