Tutor Forces: a new season
Recently, the first this year meeting of tutors from the student organization Tutor Forces took place. The agenda was rather intensive: let us remind you that the Tutor Forces team helps foreign students to adapt to their studies and life in Russia, conducts educational, entertainment and cultural student events. Natalya IVANOVA, President of Tutor Forces, told SPbPU international services about the results of the meeting, about what awaits tutors and students in the new academic year, how to join the organization, and where to keep track of the schedule of events, as well as how the work of the team was changed by the coronavirus pandemic. Read about this and more in our interview.
- Natalia, is the new academic year significantly different from the previous one? Do you remember what activities the tutors held last year?
- Last year started with a meeting of students who came to Polytechnic University to study by exchange. Traditionally, we held a welcome event for them, i.e., a Welcome Meeting, where the students get acquainted with the tutors and the university. In order for the guys to get to know the city better, we have prepared for them a trip to a hockey match and a skating rink, various excursions.
- What events of the past year, in your opinion, became the brightest in the life of tutors?
- We had an extremely bright and cheerful celebration of the birthday of the student International Club PolyUnion. There was a quest, songs, dances, and, of course, many new acquaintances.
Life in the interclub was in full swing: various film showings, musical soirees, holidays. Conversation clubs were pretty active. By interacting with foreign students of Polytechnic University, we introduced everyone to the study of Italian, French, German, Japanese, Chinese and, of course, English. Together with foreign students we went to learn to row and withstand the Gulf of Finland, visited Vyborg. The celebrations of the New Year and Maslenitsa were absolutely unforgettable.
- How has your activity changed with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic?
- Significantly, but not dramatically. We fastly adapted to the new conditions, to continue being useful for the university and students.
- We know that despite the difficult situation in the world, you have hosted many events. This was especially important for international students who found themselves far from home and family. Tell us how the Tutor Forces team supported them?
- The Tutor Forces and PolyUnion Interclub team did their best to support the quarantined students. Conversation clubs have been moved online. By the way, this helped us to expand the circle of visitors, to communicate with old friends from all over the world.
In social networks, we, together with international services, conducted a flash mob “We are together”, in which our friends from Russia, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Djibouti, Egypt, Italy and Germany took part. Together with the volunteers, the tutors delivered humanitarian aid for the students of the 13th dormitory, where students lived in the regime of observation for several weeks; we helped processing documents to receive financial assistance. So, we had no dull time.
- What events are you going to hold during this year?
- We are now planning and developing events for the new academic year. Language clubs will continue to work: we hope that not only online, but also offline. We want to conduct excursions and other activities for a restricted number of visitors in accordance with security requirements.
We have already planned introductory meetings with foreign and Russian students who want to join our team. Also in the plans is the opening of a new season of the interclub and the celebration of its birthday. And also we are going to continue communication with foreign students through our Stories newspaper; by the way, everyone can join working on it!
- Has the pandemic made a big change to this year's action plan?
- Of course, events will differ in the number of participants and the format. But we will do everything so that they go with the same enthusiasm and the amount of positive emotions as before! At the moment, the task is to provide an online format for all events, organize interaction with familiarization of students around the world.
- On what matters can foreign students contact you?
- We are ready to provide any help and solve everyday problems that arise. How to choose a store where you can buy a winter jacket; suggest how to recover lost documents; advise where to get a medical examination - the range of topics is very wide. If you have any question, you can always contact us, and we will try to help.
Also, tutors actively cooperate with the PolyUnion interclub. We are always happy to implement ideas for projects and events from foreign students.
- Can international students join your team and also help other guys?
- Natalia, thank you very much for the interview! We wish you and your team every success!
Prepared by the SPbPU International Office