Virtual Meeting of Youth from Sister Cities
The students of the Institute of Foreign Languages of Petrozavodsk State University met their peers (students and schoolchildren) from our sister city Tubingen for the second time.
The meeting was held on Zoom and continued the Tubingen-Petrozavodsk online project of youth exchange.
It was the second of four scheduled meetings within the virtual bilingual roundtable “Tourism Karelia” organized annually under the guidance of the Associate Professor of the Department of the German and French Languages Elena Vorotilina and the senior teacher of the Department of Foreign Languages for Humanities Olga Nikolaeva. The event focused on the demonstration and discussion of a video made by the students of the Institute of Foreign Languages. One of the initiators of the meeting was the Karelian Fund for Development of Civic Diplomacy led by Natalia Lavrushina. The discussion was moderated by the expert of the Department for International Relations of Tubingen City Administration Stephan Klingebiel.
The students from Petrozavodsk and Tubingen met as good friends, as all the time between the scheduled Zoom meetings they have been keeping in touch via different means of communication. At the meeting, the participants had an opportunity to discuss numerous questions related to the sights of the sister cities, the historical memory of the German and Russian people, and concerns of student life.
The highlights of the event were the quizzes on Tubingen and Petrozavodsk, which had multiple answer questions such as How many Nobel prize winners have studied or lived in Tubingen? Which writer has never lived in Tubingen? What event is annually celebrated on the Day of the city of Petrozavodsk? When did Petrozavodsk and Tubingen become sister cities? and many others.
At the end of the meeting, the participants outlined a course for further actions: in the upcoming two weeks before the next meeting both sides will continue working on videos about the sights of the sister cities, which will involve referring to regional history and cooperating with the relevant department of the National Library of the Republic of Karelia, as well as mastering foreign language proficiency.
Here is feedback from the students.
Tikhon Semekhin (group 113):
“We had to adapt quickly and solve both technical and communication issues simultaneously. I thank the organizers of the meeting for not limiting the conversation to the German language only. During the sessions, we could choose the language of communication. I spoke English.”
Margarita Vernigorova (group 113):
“The second meeting allowed me to give a boost to my speaking skills and during the online conference I could communicate in German not only in a mini-group at session hall but also share with everyone which topics we covered during the discussion of the video.”
Ksenia Ankudinova (group 113)
“A the beginning of the meeting I spoke English, the gradually switched to German, which I am studying from scratch at the Institute of Foreign Languages. This time, we found out that in Tubingen students of gymnasiums study Russian as a foreign language. I think that these meetings benefit everyone.”