Логотип CGES

Joint German-Russian Seminar for students “Encounter Europe and Russia. An Introduction to the Cultural, Political and Social Situation in Russia and Its Relations to the EU”

March 17-24, 2013

St. Petersburg, CGES

Moderator: Dr. Elena Belokurova
Organizing and financial partners: CGES, ASKO Foundation, European Academy Otzenhausen
Participants: German and Russian students

The Joint German-Russian Spring Seminar for BA students is a continuation of the cooperation with the ASKO Foundation and the European Academy Otzenhausen. After the summer school in July 2012, which took place in the European Academy Otzenhausen and was oriented on the topics of Germany, the European Union and its relations with Russia, this second Seminar in St. Petersburg was dedicated mainly to Russian politics and society.

Almost the same participants took part in this second seminar: 16 German BA students came from the Bielefed University, Wuerzburg Univesrity and Unviersity of Koblenz-Landau. The same students of St. Petesrburg State University, who were in July 2012 in Otzenhausen, also participated in the most lectures and seminars of the Seminar. They helped a lot in the organization of the Seminar in St. Petersburg, especially with regard to logistic issues and free time programme. So, as result, the communication between the German and Russian students was very intense, and both sides have learned a lot from each other through their intercultural communication.

The goal of the Seminar was to give the participants a better understanding of Russian politics, history, society and culture in an international atmosphere and mutual learning from each other. In the framework of the Seminar, the following topics were discussed during the lectures and workshops: Russian History, Russian Economy and Economic Cooperation between Russia and Germany, Russian Foreign Policy and Its Relations with the EU and Germany, Environmental Policies and Cross-Border Cooperation in Russia, Russian Arts and Culture, Social Problems and Migration. All the topics were discussed with Russian professors and experts.

Moreover, some important excursions were organized to the relevant organizations in St. Petersburg such as German-Russian Foreign Trade House and the Office of the Trade House of Hamburg, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, St. Petersburg “Vodokanal” Water Treatment Plant and the Water Museum, Russian Museum. The excursions and meeting with their experts contributed to the better understanding of Russian politics and society.

Feedback from the participants showed that the Seminar was very useful and successful, and that such Seminars and exchanges for BA students are necessary in order to give them an early insight into international politics and to motivate their further interest in this field of study. Since the organization partners have also evaluated both Summer and Spring seminars, as well as their combination, as very successful, the next Summer and Spring seminars are planned for July 2013 and March 2014 respectively.