The ex-chairperson of the council of the Club of International Students Oksana Tretiakova told about where the students can meet new friends, overcome language barriers, and get help.

The Club of International Students was formed two year ago. What is the primary concern of the Club?

Our aim is to help international students to socialize in St Petersburg and get involved in the University’s community. We can provide any information they may need. Unlike the Buddy-programme, we work with those students who study here on a full basis, rather than on exchange basis.  

Throughout a year, we have different meeting, training sessions, discussions. Tells us about them more. 

One of the key event to help students to socialize is our speaking club “Let’s talk”. The students meet and make, say, presentations on a particular topic: for example, we have talks on “Destroying the legends about Columbia, China, and Kazakhstan”. By doing so, students are more easily get involved and feel at ease. At our speaking clubs, we also have Russian-speaking students who want to practice their English.

Each year, we have a “Week of International Students” that comprises talking sessions, playing board games, and concert of people’s friendship where they get to know each other’s cultures and traditions. At the end of the festival we have a cinema festival where we drink tea and watch videos about their countries.

However, entertains are not the only thing we focus on. The council of the Club is part of the SPbU’s Student Council, and we can solve students’ problems across the University. For example, we managed to introduce amendments into the Accommodation Rules and Regulation, and our post-graduate students can therefore live in the halls of residence on the Vasilievskii Island, rather than in Peterhof. Moreover, we regularly meet with the director of the immigration office where we discuss how the international students should be registered.

What language do you use at your meetings?

Usually, English. Still, we always asks students what language they would like to use to feel more at ease. If they opt for Russian, we are always ready to help.

How do you prepare the agenda?

As a rule, the council of the Club of International Students prepares an agenda for a half of a year or a year. Still, if students are willing to organize an event, we can include it in our agenda. For example, the students once suggested an international speaking club on the international relations where the international students and Russian students can share their opinions about political or social events. We addressed the University’s administration and got a permission to create the club.

You can find information about our club at its web-site, social networks, and SPbU’s calendar.

How to become a member of the Club of International Students?

Once you become an international students at SPbU, we are our member.

You can meet new friends here and socialize. We are always ready to help and open to communicate.