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Russian Delegation Visits New Albany High School

Posted 03-19-2010 at 05:34 PM by Zero
My school hosted a delegation of Russian officials today, March 19. The discussion was conducted open forum style. They visited central Ohio with help from the Columbus International Program and the Open World Program.

Originally Posted by New Albany High School Website
Five Russian professionals participating in the Open World Program will participate in a roundtable discussion at New Albany High School as part of their nine day visit to central Ohio. On Friday, March 19, the delegation will meet with New Albany High School student leaders during a working lunch. The students and delegates will discuss issues facing today’s youth, how United States’ students perceive themselves in the present and future political landscape, and how the students deal with issues facing today’s youth.

The delegates are interested in learning about American students, the students’ insights into world social issues, and suggestion that might benefit other youth outside of the United States. The delegates are also meeting with various businesses, organizations, and individuals to help them gather ideas and suggestions.

The delegation includes:

Aleksey Lvov –– Head of the Department of Youth Development, Cheboksary City Administration
Natalya Mamontova –– Executive Director, Women's Social-Democratic Congress
Eduard Ovakimyan –– Vice President, Moscow branch of the All-Russia Public Organization "Union of Armenians of Russia" Youth
Irina Pechkovskaya –– Director, Community Initiatives Agency, Krasnoyarsk Region
Aleksandr Solovyev –– Head, Department of Social Policy, Kommunalnye Tekhnologii (Community Technologies) LCC
Olga Shchukina –– Trade-Marketing Manager, Russwell (serves as facilitator for the delegation)

It was the delegation's first visit to the United States, and they mostly spoke in Russian and used a translator. Our school was the only high school they visited out of ten total destinations in central Ohio. It was a two-way discussion in which the Russians asked the students questions, and the students asked the delegation questions. A lot of the discussion centered around what the Russians thought of the United States.

One of the stereotypes that the Russians had about America was that students were confined and not free to choose subject matter and classes, especially in college. After visiting New Albany High School and The Ohio State University, they said that they were surprised at the options available to students. The universities in America were much more liberal than Moscow State Univesirty, the major Russian institution, in their opinion. Schools in Russia require uniforms, and the lack of uniforms at out school showed Although that aspect of the education system was different, they did say that they had public and private universities, as well as scholarship opportunities and tuition-based colleges.

One of the students asked if Russian universities had any programs similar to ROTC. The delegates answered that they do have military programs in academic institutions, and students enrolling in a military program recieve preferencial treatment when applying to a university, and attend for free.

The delegation did say that they had heard a lot about Americans eating fast food, and had found that mostly to be true. They had also noticed that Americans traveled in cars much more than Russians; Russians typically walk as much as possible. Even though there is a cultural difference, they said that student culture in Russia is similar to what they obeserved in America. A lot of focus was on sports (in Russia, soccer and figure skating. One of the delegates had been a professional figure skater) and played a bid part in the country.
They also noticed that not many Americans knew much about Russia. In Russia, America is widely studied, and they have American History and English classes, much as we have here. They were surprised at the general lack of knowledge about Russia, especially with the Cold War in recent history.

With a few differences, the delegates concluded that the societies of America and Russia were similar, mostly due to the modern era and information and culture sharing. They did say that the most important thing they learned while they were here was the O-H-I-O sign.

I think it was a good opportunity for students to get to understand a foreign culture and for members of a foreign culture to understand what life is like in America. It's good to understand a society of a different country, especially one as important as Russia's.

P.S. inb4 TL;DR
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  1. Old
    sticks's Avatar
    TL;DR, but why NA?

    Posted 03-19-2010 at 10:47 PM by sticks sticks is offline
  2. Old
    Lu's Avatar
    Прохладная история Иван
    Posted 03-19-2010 at 10:53 PM by Lu Lu is offline
  3. Old
    Texx's Avatar
    you can't tl;dr your own article fagghat...
    Posted 03-19-2010 at 11:07 PM by Texx Texx is offline
  4. Old
    Zero's Avatar
    Lu, I typed that in to a translator..."Cool history Ivan." Lol!
    Posted 03-20-2010 at 10:50 AM by Zero Zero is offline
  5. Old
    Agent Spencer's Avatar
    LOL @ Failma Mater.
    Posted 03-20-2010 at 01:09 PM by Agent Spencer Agent Spencer is offline
  6. Old
    Sasquatch-L's Avatar
    I went to this, it was very interesting. They seemed rather amused by American culture and how liberal it is comparatively.
    Posted 03-22-2010 at 03:10 PM by Sasquatch-L Sasquatch-L is offline

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