March 23-30, 2014
CGES, St. Petersburg State University
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 already 3d summer school in July 2013, which took place at the European Academy Otzenhausen and was oriented towards the topics of Germany, the European Union and its relations with Russia, this 2nd Seminar in St. Petersburg was dedicated mainly to Russian politics and society.
Almost the same participants took part in this second seminar: 15 German BA students came from Bielefeld University, Wuerzburg University and University of Koblenz-Landau. The same students of St. Petersburg State University, who visited Otzenhausen in July 2013, also participated in the most lectures and events of the Seminar. They helped a lot in the organisation 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, Social Problems in Russia, Russian Arts and Culture, Intercultural Communications. All the topics were discussed with Russian professors and experts.
Moreover, some important excursions were organized to the relevant organisations 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, Erarta Museum for Contemporary Arts. The excursions and meeting with 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 organisation 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 2014 and March 2015 respectively.