For the third year in a row, Natalia Pakhomova accompanied Vanier students who were enrolled in the Russian language courses of Philological Faculty of St. Petersburg University, the first educational establishment in Russia which is listed by UNESCO into the top 10 rating of the world universities. They took classes in small groups (8 -15 students) from Monday to Friday, 20 academic hours per week. The students benefitted from the expertise of various highly trained professionals and the diversity of classes. In their courses they focused on phonology, grammar, conversation and translation. The facilities were very good and the text books and manuals were excellent.
Our students took various levels of languages courses at the St. Petersburg University: Fanny Autin and Irina Geurguiev – Beginners-2 level, Steven Betancourth and Ludovic Boudrias-Fortier – Intermediate level, Jaymes Nepomuceno –Advanced level. Jaymes is a graduating student and decided to stay for extra two months in St. Petersburg, Russia to extend his studies at the State University till August 2014.
The enrollment in the special program in a foreign university introduced Vanier students to a university environment and structure. They had a hands-on experience of independent University level studies, learnt about university programs and appreciated the priority of academic research and development. Our students experienced first-hand the opportunity to work with the rich collections of original materials in St. Petersburg libraries. They also witnessed the university approach towards creating interdisciplinary programs and a strong effort in setting-up resource centers where students, teachers and scientists will be able to conduct research.
Vanier students had a unique opportunity to study with students from various countries –Italy, Holland, England, France, Germany, USA, China and other countries, many students took the Russian language courses in addition to their prior fields of studies as diverse as Music, Business Administration and Science. Our students enjoyed the interaction and academic exchange, and made new friends.