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30 September 2014

No Smile on the Face Does Not Mean Unamiability. We are just Earnest!

The Regional Centre of German language and Culture together with Pre-University Department of the Institute of International Education and Language Communication held out a meeting with 13 pupils and two lecturers from Germany on September 24 on the venues of TPU. The guests are staying in Tomsk for two weeks on the programme of school exchange in Gymnasium No. 6 of the city of Tomsk.

Stories of TPU international students about student life in Tomsk and study in TPU aroused a great interest among foreign guests. The pupils wanted to discern the causes why international students choose TPU. The Chinese student surprised almost all the participants of the event having demonstrated excellent knowledge of the Russian language and revealed the true reason why she had selected Tomsk – it was her dream to see a lot of snow! Rather unexpected was a confusion of their fellow countryman Paul in his answer to the question what differs Tomsk from the German cities, what strikes an eye and is untypical of the German culture. At first, the unsmiling faces of the Russians seemed strange to Paul, but later he understood that lack of smile on the face does not mean ill breeding or unamiability. Having summarized the experience of the foreigners present at the meeting, we came to a conclusion that smiles of the Russians imply more than just formal amiability. The smile means friendliness and sincere feelings. Also, the pupils from Germany found out that when they are far away from their parents, lecturers of TPU become second mothers and the University provides great opportunities for personal development, since Tomsk can offer a variety of membership clubs, sports departments and teams, and a volunteer club. Moreover, there are contests of scientific and creative works of international students, conferences, creativity competitions, and many other interesting events organized in TPU. The University supports students’ academic mobility by way of scholarships, and financial aid for their participating in conferences, contests, Olympiads and sporting competitions.

“It is great that TPU provides wonderful opportunities for international students”, German lecturers said. Nobody wanted to leave the meeting; the pupils were almost about to stay in Tomsk. “Be patient, you are to finish Gymnasium first!” said their lecturers jokingly.

The German guests started speaking Russian, whereas the Head of the Regional Centre of the German Language and Culture of TPU, Tatiana S. Petrovskaya – English and German. Easy communication in Russian, German and English languages created a special atmosphere of the evening and made the guys seriously consider TPU for further study. The conversation started in English, but ended in Russian!

A possibility of talking not only to a fellow-countryman, but also to students from Greece, USA, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and other countries made a big surprise for the pupils.

The meeting became yet another event within the collaboration contract between TPU and Gymnasium No. 6 of the city of Tomsk. This year the Gymnasium won in the All-Russian contest of school exchange programmes held by the Goethe Institute.


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