Полоцкий государственный университет

Polotsk
State
University

PSU is a prestigious international university. The life of an international student is difficult. To help our international students to adapt to new conditions, the Department of Slavonic Philology created a students’ voluntary movement “My Belarusian Guide”.

Our volunteers organize events that help our international students and listeners to improve their Russian language proficiency and make friends at the university. Such communication is of use for the Belarusian students as well, because they master their communicative, English and French speaking skills.

Though the students’ voluntary movement “My Belarusian Guide” has been created not long ago, there are some positive outcomes even now. The volunteers have become the curators for the 1st- and 2nd-year students specializing in “Russian Language, English Language” and have already held a classroom meeting in April.

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The guides gave their helping hand at last GURU Club meeting as well. They helped the organizers and communicated with the students from Africa, Turkmenistan and Lebanon.

Lingua space party was the most exciting and memorable event where the students could sing songs, dance and take part in fun contests. The volunteers were taking an active part both in holding the event and scripting the scenario. The guides found out the songs the international students like singing and the music they love dancing to. Thanks to their work, each participant felt comfortable.

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The volunteers shared their experience.

Daria Anisimova, Svyatoslav Syroyezhko (1st-year students, Faculty of Humanities): “We are the guides for the student from China. His name is Chao. Communicating with him is an interesting experience. We walk together, go to picnics, help him with his homework and have fun. This helps Chao to master his skills in Russian. In turn, we master our skills in English, find new ways to explain things, find common ground and understand Chao. It is exciting to learn about each others’ cultures and help to adapt to Belarusian social environment. International students may have the problems we couldn’t even think of. Our friend Chao is not afraid of asking questions and speaking frankly, which is very important. He is a very kind and cheerful guy. We managed to make good friends with him”.

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Katerina Derevyago (3rd-year student, Faculty of Humanities): “I really enjoyed Lingua Space Party. I could chat with people from other countries, see them talking to each other and communicating with others during the event. There were the students speaking French and Turkman. Of course, some students experienced difficulties. They confided to us that Russian is a very difficult language, but they felt free to ask questions. In return, we tried our best to explain everything as clear as possible. I suppose that the language barrier is no obstacle for people to communicate. Such events should be held to involve the students in university life”.

Yevgeny Ostrovsky (4th-year students, Faculty of Humanities): “I have always been interested in understanding people. I mean, I enjoy the process itself. That’s why my desire to help others strengthened when I was offered to become a guide. It seems to me that to understand other culture and mentality in the time of increasing globalization is very important. What’s more, it is amusing to compare the traditions, learn new things about them and be friends with foreigners. Now I am hanging out with a guy from Lebanon, his name is Abdul. We are having fun together and, who knows, maybe we will hang out in his home country one day”.

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Anastasia Savitskaya (1st-year student, Faculty of Humanities): “I adore trying something new. I wanted to get acquainted with international students and learn about their countries. That’s why I accepted the proposal to become a volunteer without any hesitation. Though the number of events I participated in is not large, I managed to get acquainted with new people and experience new emotions. I’ll continue participating in this volunteer movement, helping international students and getting acquainted with good people with pleasure”.

If you enjoy communicating, helping people, telling them about the traditions of your country and learning new things about other cultures in return, we invite you to become a member of our team! Let’s make Polotsk State University comfortable for everyone!

Yevgeny Ostrovsky