Participation in Tandem Project is Joint Success
The expansion of cross-cultural and educational communications and the creation of an international student alliance are the priorities of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University.
The developed system of partnership relations allows us to establish long-term contacts, to exchange professional opinions and experiences. We are always aware of each other's achievements. And it does not matter what country of the world we are currently located - the modern means of communication help us to get ahead of time and inform the world about the latest news. Today we have with us the Technical University of Berlin (TU of Berlin). At the end of December 2015, the students of the International Relations Department of the Humanities Institute of SPbPU took part in the tandem project and completed an intensive course of the German language in the Center for Modern Languages of TU of Berlin.
They returned home with a huge bundle of knowledge and expertise. The associate professor of SPbPU Humanities Institute Bogdanova N.V. will tell us the details of the trip to one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
- Nadezhda Victorovna, tell us about the importance of participation in the tandem project for the Polytechnic University.
- Well, I can say that we were very excited to visit TU of Berlin. About 28 thousand students study in this university, and almost 20 % of them are foreigners. The University is part of the union of the nine largest technical universities in Germany “TU 9”. The students from all over the world are trying to get education here. The main objective of the tandem project is to fulfill the tasks of strategic partnerships with the leading universities of the world as part of the program “5-100”. The students from partner institutions help each other to learn a foreign language, to solve various communication problems. They also perform interactive tasks under the supervision of experienced teachers and mentors. Regular communication takes place with the help of modern distance learning technologies. It enables the integration into the international educational space and the creation of favorable conditions for further joint development.
- So, the students can communicate on different topics?
- You’re absolutely right. For example, one of very interesting topics for discussion is history. Our countries have much in common. Modern Germany has great respect for the history of Russia and the Russian victory in the Great Patriotic War. Every German family knows that "no one is forgotten and nothing is forgotten". German people try to preserve the places of historical importance. After all, this is a lesson for humanity for the sake of world peace. Some of such oases of respect for the past are the History and the Jewish museums, the museum complex dedicated to the Berlin Wall, and the Reichstag. Today, on the walls of the Reichstag, you can see the inscriptions left by Soviet soldiers. Many of them are no longer alive, but the feat of the millions will forever remain in the annals of time, in the hearts of caring people and in the books published in different languages. The history unites ... Our students were able to see everything with their own eyes, to touch the memorable places, and to thank the previous generation for the blue sky overhead, peaceful sunny mornings, and the faith in a better future.
- Have you managed to fulfill all the tasks of the trip?
- I think we accomplished everything. We got familiar with various forms of distance learning used in the Centre for Modern Languages of TU of Berlin, we exchanged experience and learnt how to use tandem projects in teaching modern languages. In the nearest future we are planning joint publications in international scientific journals and the expansion of cooperation where students will play the main role being our followers and successors of scientific knowledge. Thanks to their initiative and enthusiasm, we are always together, solving interesting problems and opening up new horizons. Such world has no boundaries!
- Has the students shared their impressions yet?
- They really enjoyed participating in the tandem project, caring attitude of the teachers and curators, and the varied program of entertainment. The students learnt the economic peculiarities of Berlin, the specialization of the city, its development program where an important part belongs to professional human resources and integration into the external world. During the language practice they acquired practical knowledge of the German language, learnt about DAAD program, took part in bilateral dialogues.
The Germany of Christmas period showed us not only popular educational routes, but also opened the door to the alluring world of the Christmas celebration. Everyone could choose an unforgettable gift for their loved ones and friends. Berlin in December is thousands of bright lights, colorful fairy lights and enchanting attractions. Our students saw professional light shows that are projected onto the historic buildings, and made a lot of great photos.
- Could you tell us how you’re planning to develop the cooperation with the Technical University of Berlin?
- In March 2016 there will be a scientific and practical seminar for teachers of the German language on the premises of the Institute of Humanities. It will be called "German as a second foreign language in technical universities: teaching models, problems and prospects". One of the participants of the seminar will be the Director of the Centre of Modern Languages of TU of Berlin doctor AlmutShёn, as well as some other German colleagues.
There has also been an agreement with the Center for Modern Languages of TU of Berlin that 30 students from various departments of TU of Berlin will come to our university in September for a month to participate in a short-term international educational program "Russian language and Russian culture". The students from Germany have a great interest in Russia, the Russian language and in the Polytechnic University. We are sure that this wonderful trip will have an excellent continuation, and the Technical University of Berlin will meet our polytechnics more than once to talk about new developments, discoveries and opportunities. Thank you and see you soon!
International Relations Office, SPbPU