Students from Moscow State University Visit Mason

Posted: February 15, 2011 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: February 14, 2011 at 9:35 pm

By Steven Harris Scott, Global and International Strategies

Moscow State University students at a Patriots basketball game. Photo courtesy of Global and International Strategies

A group of 24 Moscow State University students, mostly economics and management majors, were guests at Mason for a 10-day visit earlier this month.

The Russian students participated in a short-term study program on monetary economics that involved professors from the Department of Economics.

They also participated in language classes taught by faculty from Mason’s English Language Institute.

In addition to studying, the students took trips to the Washington, D.C., monuments and Tysons Corner, and they attended a Mason basketball game and a Washington Capitals hockey match. At the Caps game, the students were able to meet and socialize with a fellow countryman, Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov.

A roundtable conversation on comparative education was one of many events that promoted cultural exchange and interaction between Moscow State and Mason students.

The discussion was hosted by Kevin Stoy and Sarah Mournighan from the Center for Global Education and Lee Krinzman from the Office of Global and International Strategies.

One question was, “What did Russian students know of George Mason before they came?” Elena Zakharova, a student from Moscow State University, answered that they had heard of George Mason, the historical figure who was instrumental in the creation of the American Bill of Rights.

When asked to comment on Americans’ mistaken assumptions about Russia, Zakharova said, “There are no soldiers walking around Moscow, and you probably won’t see any bears!”

Among the substantive information that emerged during the roundtable was, according to several MSU students, Russian professors usually emphasize a lecture format, with only limited interaction between teacher and students.

Another of the discussion’s goals was to introduce Mason’s new Summer Study Abroad Program in Russia, a four-week program that will run from May 24 through June 21.

Mason students who are interested in studying and visiting Moscow should contact the Center for Global Education for more information and visit the program website. Registration is now under way.

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