The Center for International Study Program’s Summer School is taking place at Novosibirsk State University. More than 30 students from around the world have come to Akademgorodok to learn Russian. Every summer the Center’s staff of teachers and volunteers organize the training and other activities for foreign students so their stay in Novosibirsk is comfortable and useful.
Students from France, Korea, China, USA, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, as well as other countries, have arrived in Novosibirsk this summer to learn Russian. Some of them have come for the first time and others have already visited Akademgorodok. Marie Zhenya, a Belgian graduate student, began to learn Russian last summer and can already explain why she wants to learn it in Russian.
Zhenya described her plans,
I want to become an interpreter. At first, I wanted to learn English, but many people already speak English in Belgium. If I want to find a job, I need to learn an exotic language, so I chose Russian. I think if I know Russian, this will create a demand for my services as a specialist.
Even though Katya Baranets has a Russian name, she only started learning Russian six months ago. She lives in America and only knows English, unlike her father who speaks Russian. Baranets explained her motivation,
I am half-American and half Russian. I know a little about Russian culture, but studying at a Russian university is new for me. It is a very interesting experience. My dad speaks Russian at home and I answer him in English. I understand everything, but I cannot say anything. These courses will help me speak Russian with my dad.
The Summer School at NSU’s Center for International Study Programs (CISP) provides an opportunity to visit the home country for the language you are studying so you get to know the culture while you are learning the language. During the first half of the day, students have classes in Russian language. During the breaks and between lessons there is an opportunity to drink tea and chat with Russian and foreign students. After lunch, the foreign students learn about Russian culture with excursions to museums, the zoo, the planetarium and the beach in Akademgorodok.
Daria Barabanova, CISP teacher, talked about the program,
The Russian language classes are organized based on each student’s level so everyone studies in a group that will best improve their Russian language skills. We try to pay a lot of attention to the communication aspect, learning to speak. Of course, there are phonetics and grammar. Tea drinking is also an element of study when students can communicate more informally with each other. During lessons, there is more theory and during tea drinking, more practice.
Volunteer students help the teachers and staff at the Center. For future specialists in the field of teaching Russian as a foreign language and intercultural communication, this communication practice is very helpful. Semen Semenov talked about his work as a volunteer at the Center,
I really enjoy communicating with foreign students. They come from many different countries, so you can learn many new things. Our goal is to make the learning process for them easy and interesting.
The Center for International Curricula (CISP) is a subdivision of the NSU Humanities Institute. Novosibirsk State University offered the first courses of Russian as a foreign language were organized at Novosibirsk State University in 1989. Since 1999, the Center has been a part of what was the Foreign Languages Department.