More and more young and educated foreigners are coming to Russia

Фото © Форпост Северо-Запад / Павел Долганов

In the first half of this year, over 19.5% more foreign tourists have come to visit our country than in 2017. Among the countries who have contributed to the growth in numbers are China, South Korea, Germany, Italy, France, Czech Republic and USA. In fact, not all of these incomers were interested in going sightseeing or attending cultural events.

Lately, Summer Schools concept has started gaining in popularity, which allows students, teachers and researchers coming from different countries to go deep into the new cultural environment and mentality, get themselves acquainted with unfamiliar educational techniques and acquire new knowledge and practical skills in the subject of their interest - or rather share them if we are speaking about teachers.

This summer, these lasting few weeks courses have seen a record growth. In Saint-Petersburg, almost every major university got itself involved in organising international summer schools. Perhaps, one of the most unusual ones was the summer school program with a focus on renewable energy sources, which took place at Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University ”LETI”. Its participants were comprised of 10 people from France, Iraq, Tanzania, China, Kazakhstan and Myanmar. They attended a number of lectures, given by both the Russian and foreign professors, and took part in practical activities - in particular, they designed a solar power plant by themselves.

According to one of the visiting professors, Gabriele Ferrini from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore),”In Europe, the format of summer schools is quite popular among the students, and for post-graduate students participation is even mandatory. For me, it was a pleasure to work with participants of the program in renewable energy - they were active listeners, they also asked a lot of interesting questions”.

In total, about 200 people took part in the International summer school programmes at ”LETI”. Almost the same number of students from Italy, China, Poland, Croatia and other countries came to participate in the Mining University’s summer school offerings. They made themselves familiar with modern technologies of drilling well, geodetic engineering, geology and other sciences. Schools’ participants also had a number of visits to the leading companies of St. Petersburg.

Thus, representatives of the University of Zagreb (summer school program ”Geomechanics in the Development of Mineral Deposits and Underground Megacities) and the AGH University of Science and Technology (”Modern technologies of Drilling Wells, Transport and Storage of Oil & Gas”) went underground to see with their own eyes how metro station ”Teatralnaya” was built. In turn, school participants from Lanzhou University of Technology gained new knowledge about modern energy technologies through visits to to the training ground of Lenenergo and Krestovskaya digital substation. The latter supplies with energy serving as a football arena Krestovsky Stadium.

Oleksii Kim, a student of the AGH University of Science and Technology, underlined, ”It was an incredible experience for us to go 60 meters underground and see with our own eyes how they build metro. We liked St. Petersburg as well – it is a great city. It is amazing that in addition to practical training we had the opportunity to get to know more about the Russian culture”.

Living in the modern global word is nearly impossible for the states supporting the ideas of isolationism. The participants of the X International Summer School - 85 scientists and researchers from both European and Asian countries - fully support the statement.

One of the main topics of their discussions was the Russian Revolution that began in 1917 and the follow-up events which had a massive influence on the global history of the twentieth century and led to formation of the Soviet Union, one of the most sealed off states. As is well-known, Soviet people were not allowed out of the country.

Some of the reports presented at the event were quite specific and also provocative. For example, Irina Chikalova from Belarus claimed that Revolution was the reason for a change of patriarchal gender norms. Jaroslav Vaculík from Masaryk University in Brno questioned the fact of rebellion of the Czechoslovak Legion. Finally, Professor Philippe Comte of Sorbonne University (Sorbonne Université) presented an alternative story in which he simulated the situation that would involve Lenin being shot in July 1917.

The largest of the International summer schools was organised by Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University. According to the University’s estimates, the total number of participants is expected to exceed seven hundred people who arrive in St. Petersburg from 40 different countries, including China, USA, Portugal, Mexico, Australia and others.

All 35 summer school programs will be completed by mid-September. Among the courses taught to the foreign students are, for instance, space, energy and information technologies, civil engineering, Russian language and culture, business and management, food technology and many others.

Forpost SZ

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