PetrSU International Students in the Project “Learning to Live Together”
The project presented the results of the monitoring of the adaption of the foreign citizens who study at PetrSU.
The monitoring of the adaptation of the international students of PetrSU was carried out from September till November 2016 in the framework of the project “Learning to Live Together” implemented by the Association of the Peoples of Karelia with the support of the Ministry of National and Regional Policy of the Republic of Karelia, Charitable Fund for Support and Development of Educational and Social Projects "PSP-Fund"
The monitoring involved anonymous questionnaires with questions regarding language, main issues in adaptation, interaction with local citizens, living conditions. Moreover, in the survey, international students could offer their suggestions for the improvement of international relations and adaptation. Altogether 202 international students of PetrSU took part in the survey.
The Vice-Rector for International Affairs of PetrSU Marina Gvozdeva said:
“This monitoring was important for us. It was the first time we carried out such a comprehensive social study that covered essential questions on the adaptation and integration of international students. The selection was representative as it included over 200 students from 27 countries, and thus we had impressive statistics and very compelling results. We are glad that the students trust Petrozavodsk State University, receive general information about accommodation rules, Russian legislation, and migration rules from the administration of the university. On the one hand, it is excellent, as we understand that the university takes care of its international students. At the university, they feel comfortable and safe. On the other hand, for many of them their stay in Russia is limited by the education they receive at the university. The students devote their time to their studies, work in the study groups, libraries, yet at the same time in the questionnaires the international students expressed their wish to introduce the local citizens to their culture, learn more about the history of Petrozavodsk and the Republic, and join Russian student volunteers. We have a lot to do: organize workshops, develop more specific recommendations and instructions for resident assistants, administration and other services of the university, introduce mentoring mechanisms for arriving international students among Russian or international senior students. Overall, the results are noteworthy and we will continue our work in this area.”
Director of the PSP-Fund Boris Panich noted:
“The project “Learning to Live Together” is an example of fruitful cooperation between NGOs of the Republic of Karelia and Saint Petersburg. Together with Petrozavodsk State University, we surveyed the adaptation of international citizens who study at PetrSU. Following the results of the monitoring, we developed recommendations for potential development in this area for the university.”
The recommendations could be further used for the development and improvement of the approaches to adaptation and integration of foreign citizens who study in the Republic of Karelia, arrange a series of relevant events, create informational and teaching materials for international citizens and specialists working with them.