Association of International Students
The history of the Association of International Students in Penza goes back to 23rd of March, 2011, when 24 representatives from 20 countries gathered for a conference for the first time. The key goals of the meeting were to establish the Union of International Students of Penza State University, to draw the basic provisions and choose the union leader. The members of the meeting approved the draft project and chose their leader – Mahamat Yaya Kishin, a Chadian citizen, 4th year student of medicine.
The established union dealt with everyday practical matters, such as housing and household problems, academic issues and cultural involvement of international students.
After two years of effective work the union moved on to a new stage of development.
In April of 2013 Penza State University hosted a conference of international students from leading universities of the Penza region. The main aim was to establish a branch of the Association of International students. The association is a nation-wide non-profit public organization that fosters international students integration and provides legal, administrative and moral support to young people studying in Russia. At present it includes 165 000 international students from 162 countries.
Gabriel Anicet Kotchofa, Ambassador of the Republic of Benin to Russia and president of the ASI, and Yusuf Abasalleh, Ambassador of the Republic of Chad to Russia, were among the special guests of the student meeting.
The branch of the Association of International Students now unites more than 1500 international students from the universities of the Penza region and is headed by Mahamat Kishin, a post-graduate student of the Medical Institute, who was chosen chair unanimously.
ASI president Gabriel Anicet Kotchofa paid a second visit to Penza on 20th of May. During his visit he met with Russian and international students, and together they discussed the current state of affairs in education.
The Association of International Students in Penza is a relatively young youth organization, but they managed to make a noticeable difference in various spheres of student life.
Student show ‘Spring Talent Festival’
Starting from the spring of 2011 international students had their own team at the show, participating in all the programme events – singing, dancing, drama.
World Football Cup
150 players from ten countries competed for the first prize in a World Football Cup, organized at the university. Turkmenistan team proved the strongest and received the first prize. All teams were awarded with memorable prizes and certificates.
Participation in the work of international summer camp in support of intercultural and interreligious collaboration ‘Dialogue’ (Kaluga region)
In 2011, the culture and tourism centre ‘Etnomir’ in Kaluga region hosted the international youth summer camp in support of intercultural and interreligious collaboration ‘Dialogue’. It’s main aim was to share experiences and best practices in the sphere of intercultural cooperation, to create common space that could consolidate all innovative ideas in this sphere both in Russia and abroad.
The camp gathered both young people from various countries and officials from RF state bodies, representatives of the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, European Youth Forum, and journalists as well. The participants discussed crucial intercultural and interreligious issues. Penza was represented by Ruslan Bulatov from Kazakhstan and Erkin Orunov from Turkmenistan.
Beauty Contest ‘Miss University 2011’
A student of Moldova competed among the most beautiful girls of the university and won the title ‘Miss Photo’
International friendship classes with Penza school students
Association of International Students at the university together with the Youth Union of the Penza region carry out the joint educational project ‘International Friendship Class’. This project aims at helping the school children learn about the variety of cultures existing in the modern world. The school children met with the representatives of the Republic of Chad, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.
The lessons usually start with multilingual greetings, then the international students make a vivid presentation about their native countries, they show traditional images of their cultures and explain what they mean to them. Each presentation is usually followed by a wave of questions from the audience. Each lesson finishes with a common photo.
Lessons of this type are equally valuable for both sides – it makes it easier for the international students to adapt to the Russian culture and society, they have a wonderful opportunity to communicate in a new language in an informal atmosphere. At the same time, Russian children benefit by getting in real contact with different cultures, which is the basis for racial tolerance and global intelligence.
Beauty Contest ‘Miss World 2012’
The beauty contest was conducted in one of the most picturesque locations of the Penza region – natural park zone near scenic ponds. June weather was favourable for the contestants, girls from foreign countries, who had a chance to show their beauty, quick mind, and manners. The contest was conducted as part of the festival of youth culture and became a theatrical show, that starred professional performers as well. The contestants had to meet the challenges:
- introduction and a national performance
- catwalk demonstration ‘Student Style’
- catwalk demonstration of evening fashion
Each performance was met with cheering and applause, there was a wonderful spirit of support. At the end of the show seven contestants were chosen by the jury as the best.
1st place – Natalia Buyuk
2nd place – Maya Palatova
3rd place – Du Sing
Miss Photo – Maryam Sekoyan
Miss Talent – Sabina Ruzyeva
Miss Charm – Reihan Mirzoeva
Miss Good Looks – Anastasia Dadobaeva
International Alumni Club
Each year the international students who finish their studies at the university and pass their graduation exams have an official graduation ceremony.
In 2013 there were 90 graduates from 10 countries of the world. They were greeted by A. Gulyakov, the Rector of the university, Yu. Mazei, Vice-Recor for International Affairs.
This was a significant year, as the alumni club was formed to unite the numerous graduates of Penza State University. The international students who finished the university that year received certificates of alumni membership
The club is designed for the alumni and the administration to keep in touch with each other.
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