Mentor for SUSU international students: experience and perspectives

Members of 56 countries are studying at South Ural State University. Each year number of international students is increasing and for some of them adapting to other country turns out to be difficult. That is why for them the system of mentoring (tutoring) exists for.

Tutor translated from English means mentor. Before arriving an international student is given by contact of its mentor to with whom he can be in touch with, arrange a meeting and get to know each other, so that an international student will be in comfort. Thanks to tutor on arrival to Russia it is easier for an international student to adapt, cope with document preparation, get a basic knowledge about the city and a student town tour. Also further an international student can ask questions in which he interested in or ask for help.

«The project is dedicated to facilitating adaptation process for international students. Senior students are sharing with their experience of living in a new country, tell about and show the city, help with preparation of documents. The tutor’s task – adapt an international first year student into the socio-cultural field. For this purpose a tutor takes a tour of the city and introduces the Russian culture, helps to find friends. Adaptive, cultural, sports, cultural projects and events are being held at our university, for strengthening international and interethnic cooperation. The initiators are both our specialists and students», - says Dariia Mikriukova, Head of International Student Support.

In 2019, to help international students in adapting to, at SUSU International Student Support created a project «Tutor of International Student», which is actively developing for a help to international students.

«Annually number of people who are willing to become a tutor for international student if increasing. Comparing with last year, we have recruited a team of 45 people. These are senior students who want to share with their personal experience about staying/living at Chelyabinsk. My path into international communication began with tutoring, I helped and I am helping international students on arrival, during the process of adaptation. If it used to be like volunteering before, now I am keeping on my mission as a specialist at International management of our university. I recommend to try it to all people who interested in culture of different countries and practice of foreign language. Our tutors speak in various languages: Uzbek language, Arabic, English, Russian, Chinese. And someone is a native speaker. Those who are only starting out and want to try as a mentor for international student use an online translator», - tells Dilrabo Tozhikulova, AISA Acting Head.

University students have an opportunity to become a member of the team, who will be able to meet international students at airports, help them to adapt to student life and apply for scholarships, grants and material assistance.

«In the beginning of first year I was lucky to get into the tutors ranks, which I was glad of. To be honest, I was very nervous on the interview because of my English language level, I though it will not be enough to work as a tutor, but I managed to get the coveted blue T-shirt with the symbols of the university and a sign welcoming foreigner. I will not say that it gets easier and easier every time to communicate with representatives of other countries, because every of them is unique, has their own culture and temper, but I can say for sure, that each was more interesting than the other. I was lucky enough to become a tutor for a famous writer from Pakistan! Today I am still keeping in touch with each of the guys I have met and help to adapt to Russia, and in next academic year I will definitely continue a tutoring work! Primarily this kind of work allows each of us to find friends from the different parts of the world! And also the tutor expands his horizons through the learning of students’ culture, mentality, traditions. In addition it is live language practice, which is sorely lacking in everyday life! And, of course, the responsibility, organization needed here», - tells SUSU student Angelina Budaeva.

Not only students from Russia can be tutors, but also foreigners. For this purpose you need to fill out a special form and wait for the feedback.

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