8th POLIS Camp collates international students from 12 countries

24.05.2024 14:26

Three days of studying, gaining new knowledge and successfully defending projects are the 8th POLIS Camp, which is the Volga Region educational camp for international students. It took place from May 17 to 20 at the Chistye Prudy Sports Complex. The camp synchronized with the 35th anniversary of international activity at Penza State University. As usual, the event was organized by the Department of Student Affairs of the International Education Office with the support of the Association of International Students of the Penza Region.

Traditionally, the camp engaged not only students from Penza higher education institutions, namely Penza State University, Penza State Agrarian University, Penza State Technological University and Penza State University of Architecture and Construction, but also guests from universities in other regions, namely N.P. Ogarev Mordovia State University (Saransk) and G.R. Derzhavin Tambov State University (Tambov). At the opening ceremony, the Head of the International Education Office Sergei Ivanchin greeted the students and wished them productive weekend: “We are very glad to see international students from neighboring regions of Mordovia and Tambov. We are convinced that these three days will be interesting and useful and that they will bring only vivid emotions to all participants”.

This year, the agenda of the camp included psychological trainings, team-building games, project work and an adventure game based on Russian fairy tales. Besides a special emphasis was placed on the creative component: the participants were given a singing workshop, master classes in choreography and acting. “Our task is not just to provide students with new knowledge and upgrade their skills, but also to enable them to discover their talents, dispel fears and overcome barriers through music, dance, acting or organizational activity. This camp turned out to be especially creative and allowed the participants to express themselves and enabled us to spot new talents,” emphasized the organizers of the event, the authors of the trainings, Mariia Melnikova and Vladislav Svyatov.

The camp culminated in the defense of projects under the student initiatives laboratory aimed at improving the lives of international students. The expert commission included the following speakers: the Head of the International Education Office Sergei Ivanchin, the Dead of the Department of Student Affairs Ekaterina Syagaylo and the Chairman of the Association of International Students of the Penza Region Adel Ali Omar Maqbol. “Each project deserves to be implemented. It is clear that the students addressed relevant issues existing in a foreign environment and approached their solutions wisely!” noted Adel Ali Omar Maqbol in the final speech.

As part of the closing ceremony of the POLIS Camp, the Minister of Education of the Penza Region Aleksei Komarov addressed the participants: “Such educational platforms give knowledge, form true values, develop skills of students”.

Aleksei Komarov presented the Certificate of Honor of the Ministry of Education of the Penza Region to the university staff members for many years of conscientious work, high professionalism, significant personal contribution to the university advancement and in connection with the celebration of the 35th anniversary of international activity of the university:

- Olga Barabash, Acting Head of the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language
- Nataliia Barysheva, Head of the Pre-University Training Office
- Iraida Zosimova, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language
- Olga Nevokshanova, Head of the Russian Language Test Centre
- Irina Novichkova, Head of the Department of Personal Information Management of the International Education Office
- Svetlana Noikina, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language
- Svetlana Pashkovskaya, Professor of the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language
- Aleksandr Pervushkin, Head of the Department of Academic Affairs of the International Education Office
- Elena Petrik, Head of the Department of Migration and Visa Support of the International Education Office
- Kirill Plotnikov, Head of the Department of Foreign Student Accommodation of the International Education Office
- Tatiana Razuvaeva, Head of the International Projects Department of the International Relations Office
- Ekaterina Syagaylo, Head of the Department of Student Affairs of the International Education Office

Vice-Rector for International Affairs Gleb Sintsov handed the certificates of participation to all students completed the camp and the letters of gratitude to the organizers of the camp: “The POLIS Camp provides not only interesting training, but also develops creative thinking and enhances project skills. This is where students are given the opportunity to test and increase their capacities that can be used both in the academic environment and in career building”.

The POLIS camp united students from 12 countries. However, the cultural gap and language barrier did not become an obstacle for them. A student from Tambov, Mukozayi Chavana from Zambia hardly speaks Russian, but all the participants understood each other perfectly: “Being an international student is not an easy task. New language, cuisine, culture... The university helps with adaptation to the new reality. We are grateful to PSU for inviting us to take part in the POLIS camp and welcoming us with such cordiality and hospitality! The organizers and mentors did a great job. Each student was a true bundle of energy and contributed to the smooth running of the event. We felt like a real international family”.

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