Polytech held a virtual picnic as part of the Erasmus + program

27 July 2021 International activities 111

Last week, the Polytechnic University International Office held an Erasmus Midsummer Picnic event that brought together representatives of 13 European universities. The event was held online with the support of the national Erasmus+ agencies and the European Commission.

The Erasmus Midsummer Picnic was a continuation of the Erasmus+ Teatime event held by Polytechnic University last October. As then, the participants gathered to discuss changes in academic mobility processes under the conditions of the pandemic, new challenges, and tasks, as well as to sum up the results of the past season and share the results. Reports and presentations were made by Polytechnic University, Sivas Cumhuriyet University (SCU) (Turkey), and Liepaja University (Latvia). Representatives of 13 universities from Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Turkey, and other countries joined the discussion.

SPbPU held an Erasmus Midsummer Picnic online event

Deputy head of the academic mobility department Ms. Elizaveta SUKHOVA told about the development of academic mobility after the second wave of coronavirus, in her opening speech she spoke about the gradual increase in the number of students traveling abroad, and also answered questions from her foreign colleagues about other opportunities for sending students to SPbPU as part of exchange programs.

The international coordinator of Liepaja University Mrs. Sintija LEIGUTE made proposals for the optimization and development of Erasmus+ programs. My strong belief is that we can make Erasmus+ program more sustainable through different stages that such kind of projects offers to HEI Initiative (regular student and staff exchange, inviting guest lecturers to take part in our university projects and study life as much as possible, joints events, conferences and research, the development of the study quality like developed joint study programs or learning tool). It all makes the cooperation more stable on a long-term basis and has an added value), noted Mrs. Sintija LEIGUTE.

SCU Erasmus Vice Coordinator Mr. Emre SEVEN spoke about the peculiarities of culture shock that many international students experience when entering an unfamiliar cultural environment. Culture Shock is a hot topic especially in terms of international students’ adjustment. It is often confused with cultural surprise — cultural differences that are encountered in a new culture. However, culture shock is our brain’s cognitive response to too much new information. People who are going through culture shock may show emotional as well as physical symptoms. One can prepare himself to culture shock both by training the brain with some small exercises and learning about the cultural theories. This way of adaptation to ‘the new’ will be less painful for the sojourner, noted Mr. Emre SEVEN.

Besides topical reports, the participants discussed new challenges and opportunities of Erasmus+ program development for the period from 2021 to 2030, made proposals concerning adaptation and optimization of the program, shared opinions on the reasonability of introduction of the mixed format of academic mobility, advantages, and disadvantages of virtual academic mobility, and many others. At the end of the meeting, the staff of the SPbPU International Office conducted an online quiz for the participants about the cultural peculiarities of St. Petersburg.

Prepared by the SPbPU International Office

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