St Petersburg University, the fresher’s week for international exchange students is over. The finishing touch was an international food evening.

For several years, SPbU has been arranging a range of cultural and entertainment events for exchange students at the beginning of the semester: from the classical (excursions and visiting museums) to more informal ones (karaoke or board games).

Selecting the events rests on the Department of International Educational Collaboration and SPbU’s Student Union – they opt for those events to suit everyone’s interest and combine both entertainment and informative.

The most popular event is an international food evening traditionally held at the end of the fresher’s week.

At this “gastronomic festival”, when students prepare their national dishes, you can stand a chance to taste another culture. Those who are expert in cooking can compete for the best dish award.

“Initially, the event was called “Evening of cultures”, but the beginning of the semester is not the right time when students can tell about their cultures, rather they can show us their national cuisine and get to know the Russian one, ― said Ekaterina Petrianina, Department of the International Educational Collaboration. ― as it is at the end of the fresher’s week, we can sum up all the other events held during the fresher’s week”.

The students from various programmes took part in the event, among them were those who were engaged in the buddy-programme, the mentors of the international students to help them get around the city and the University, socialize, and make at ease in the new environment. Fedor Semenov is a mentor of two international students from Germany and Denmark.

“The fresher’s week is an excellent chance to meet interesting people and get engaged in volunteering. To help international students is great, ― said Fedor Semenov. ― Some say that the exchange students in other countries don’t have any fresher’s week, they just get started on a par with the others. Many international students who arrived at SPbU are surprised that everything has been arranged for them and they don’t have anything to worry about. We assist them in any situation”.

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 SPbU’s partner countries in academic exchange

In the autumn semester 2017, SPbU has enrolled 482 students from Australia, Germany, Ireland, Luxemburg, Norway, USA and Japan to name but a few.

“This is my second trip to Russia. When I was 17, I visited Novgorod as an exchange student, and several days we spent in St Petersburg. I got excited, so now, when I had to choose where to study abroad, I opted for St Petersburg, and SPbU is an excellent university where many outstanding people have learnt, ― said Liam Barkley from Cambridge. ― At the University I will pursue my study in international relations. Besides, we are going to have Russian classes. The lectures will be mainly in English, but we can attend Russian lectures as well. I am not sure that I will understand them, but I will try. St Petersburg is very welcoming. We have had lots of different events at SPbU, yesterday we watched ‘Operation Y’ with English subtitles”.