See the Real Russia with Your Own Eyes: Delegation from Mount St. Mary’s University USA Visited SUSU

A delegation from Mount St. Mary’s University, Maryland, USA, consisting of 9 students and Associate Professor of Economics and Law of the Department of Business and Economics Michael Barry visited SUSU.

SUSU and Mount St. Mary’s University first started to collaborate in 2008, when the first delegation of students arrived on a friendly visit to participate in SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) games.

The meeting began with introducing the guests to Director of the SUSU School of Economics and Management Irina Saveleva and Head of the Department of Management Alena Levina, who spoke about educational programmes and projects being fulfilled at this SUSU School. Since it was not their first cooperation, the SUSU School of Economics and Management staff and the guests recalled the past years’ experience and told new students how it all began. American students talked about themselves and their hobbies, and why they came to SUSU. The SUSU School leadership expressed their willingness to continue working with Mount St. Mary’s University and to resume academic mobility programmes for students.

“We have been friends with Mount St. Mary’s University for more than 10 years now. During this time we have been constantly creating new joint projects: educational, scientific projects and research, master classes, conferences and various competitions. Our collaboration is permanently developing. And we are interested in creating new joint educational projects, which will give students new international cooperation opportunities: an opportunity to continue studying abroad, or for us to invite international students and teachers to come to our university. We would also like to develop this direction, so our students could gain as much competence and opportunities as possible in educational and scientific fields, as well as in terms of building their future careers,” said Alena Levina.

According to the plan of the meeting, within the period of several days the delegation from America was taken on tours around the main scientific laboratories, sports complex and SUSU museums, where they were told about the history of the university’s foundation.

“I love Russia very much, and I think that our students know little about this country, they only see what they are shown on TV, and this is not always reliable information. The best way will be to get to know Russian people and see the real Russia with your own eyes,” shared Michael Barry. “Since this is not the first time I bring American students here, I can tell I hear quite often that the trip changed their attitude towards this country, and they want to come back and get an education here, and some of them just decide to learn Russian. They say they would like to understand Russia better and continue working in their home country in government to help build good relationships between the two countries.”

Within the framework of the educational-entertaining program for the guests, some communication and business games were held. The communication training was held in a format of a game. SUSU students from Ghana, India, China, and Russia also took part in the event. After casting lots, the students were divided into mixed teams and started to complete tasks. The main emphasis was put on communication and socialization. In each task students had to explain something and achieve a coordinated team work to gain success. Besides, the business game aimed at identifying a role of each separate player in business processes of a company.

“I have never been that far from home, and I’m enjoying every moment here. I am glad to meet new people, it is an outstanding new experience for me. I was impressed to see more than just Russian students at the university, many international students study here - this is really awesome,” said Reed Klingerman. “I decided to go to Russia after I’d received the invitation. I had to see everything with my own eyes: the unique, biggest country in the world and a new culture.”

The visit of the delegation from Mount St. Mary’s University, Maryland, USA, ended with debriefing and arranging plans for future international collaboration. Joint educational projects were considered in the field of international trade, logistics and marketing: an online class on International Trade, where Mount St. Mary’s University students together with SUSU students will develop various solutions to cases related to the participation of our countries in the world trade organization, the impact of the sanctions policy on international trade and other burning issues.

Also, the parties are interested in creating joint scientific projects in the field of international trade. They discussed the prospects of organizing creative academic staff teams at Russian, American and Indian universities, including the involvement of young scientists and Master’s students, the possibility of developing the МООС on international trade, and the prospects of academic staff and student mobility.

Elena Potoroko, photos by Oleg Igoshin
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