n June 2019, 8 students of the Faculty of Humanities who completed 2 years of studies, specialization “Pedagogical Education: Foreign (English) and Foreign (Chinese) Languages, have been chosen to study in China during one academic year.
Students of the Faculty of Humanities share their impressions about this unique opportunity:
“Although during the two years of studies at Minin University we have been given many chances to communicate with native speakers, this experience cannot be compared with what lies ahead. Participation in opening and closing ceremonies of vacation language and culture schools, organization of various events in the student community “AiLaoVai” together with Chinese students, supporting the visits of Chinese guests to our university - we did this during hours free from repeating dialogs from the textbook and writing out hieroglyphs.
Apart from this there were lots of classes with Chinese teachers and meetings with new Chinese friends in an informal setting. Is it still not enough to understand the peculiarities of Chinese culture and start thinking in Chinese? Not at all. With all these advantages, our weak point is that we are used to feeling like "hosts", seeing the Chinese as guests who need help in adapting to an unusual environment. The time has come to switch roles, and for us this is a real test.
I found out about the program at the beginning of the year, but applied just a month before the selection, since the availability of places provided with a full grant (at the expense of the university) has been questioned for a long time.
Against the backdrop of adrenaline, which we are experiencing right now in connection with the upcoming departure to China, the exciting stage of selection is remembered with a smile. We showed presentations about our achievements over the years of study at the university in the presence of the commission that included teachers of our department and representatives of the international department. The ability to confidently and competently present oneself in a stressful situation was not the only thing that members of the commission paid attention to. From the first year we were informed that when selecting students to participate in dual degree program, university administration focuses mainly on candidates’ academic performance and active participation in the university’s public life, i.e. assistance in organizing various events, scientific, sports and creative activities.
I would like to give advice to students seeking to be on the cherished list of candidates for participation in such a program: take your studies seriously and at the same time participate in everything related to language learning and intercultural interaction as actively as possible. In that way you will be able to convince the commission of your interest and readiness to worthily represent the university abroad.
I am grateful to the administration of Minin university for providing this opportunity, which is very advantageous financially, and to the members of the commission who appreciated my efforts and entrusted me with the role of the group headperson. I would like to separately thank Ms. Charchoglyan Tatyana, the teacher of our university, who was my first teacher of Chinese!
“It was not easy to decide on participation in the program. After all, a whole year abroad is a long period. At first, I was planning to go only for one semester, but now, the closer the trip, the more I understand how amazing and useful this experience will be. I am especially glad to learn that we will have intensive language training. I hope to reach a new level of language proficiency."
“The selection was held in the form of an interview, where everyone told why he/she should go to China. Actually, I was a little worried, but everything went really well. So I believe that my two-years-dream has almost come true! From this trip I expect new pleasant acquaintances, both with people and with the culture of China, new experience in learning a foreign language and just having a good time.”
“Having entered Minin university, I tried to devote as much time as possible to the Chinese language. I was a member of the student organization "Mandarin", where I participated in events held for students from China who visited our university; studied at the Chinese language courses at the Language Center of Minin university and got the opportunity to visit the Chinese city of Wuhu during the winter school program. I hope that the opportunity to go to Shandong will allow me to immerse myself in the culture of the country which language I study; consolidate, improve and deepen the knowledge of the Chinese language that I have already acquired at Minin university.”