Erasmus Mundus pre-departure orientation meeting for new scholarship holders from Ukraine and Belarus in Kyiv (17/06/2011)
The annual joint Erasmus Mundus pre-departure orientation for the students from Ukraine and Belarus was held in Kyiv on the 10-11th of June 2011.
It has already become a tradition for new Erasmus Mundus scholarship holders and alumni of the Erasmus Mundus Program to come together to the sunny Kyiv and to interact, ask questions and exchange their experiences. Such pre-departure orientation meetings are organized every year following the initiative of the CIS & Mongolia Regional Chapter of Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association in close cooperation with the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine.
The two-day-long pre-departure orientation meeting, the first part of which took place in the office of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, was attended by more than 20 newly admitted Erasmus Mundus students from Ukraine and Belarus. These students have won the scholarships grants, provided by the European Commission, which allow them to study at one of the Erasmus Mundus Master or PhD courses at the different universities all around Europe. The event was an opportunity for them to meet the staff of the EU Delegation as well as to get a first-hand advice from Erasmus Mundus alumni.
At the beginning of the event Press and Information Officer of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, David Stulik, welcomed and congratulated the newly admitted students and spoke to them about the important role of Erasmus Mundus in the EU-Ukraine relations. After that, the embassy representatives of the EU member states (Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain) and Norway provided general information and practical tips regarding visa requirements, living and studying in their respective countries and were available during the interactive group-sessions to answer all sorts of questions. Then the representative of National TEMPUS Office in Ukraine, Olena Orzhel, presented TEMPUS – an external program of the EU that supports modernisation of higher education systems in the EU partner countries and neighbouring states – and its activities of the country office.
The second part of the day started with the presentation of Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association activities done by President of CIS & Mongolia Regional Chapter Maria Ustinova and Network Coordinator Anna Korepanova. Later, the EMA Country Representative to Ukraine Alexander Belyakov shared his personal Erasmus Mundus experience and explained to the new students various practical issues regarding visa, resident permits, accommodation search, job prospectives, recognition of European diplomas in Ukraine, etc. The program of the first day finished with the networking dinner at the Czech restaurant Staromak, where the new students had a chance to communicate informally with the alumni in a friendly atmosphere.
The next day of the orientation started with the workshop on intercultural communication organized by international consulting company ICUnet.AG and conducted by the trainer Christine Baer. During the workshop students were working in teams trying to understand the influence of the culture on human behavior, acquiring valuable information about European mentality, culture peculiarities of the different nations and regions and the concept of culture shock and learning how to fulfill the role of the ambassadors of their home countries.