Tomsk and German universities have made an agreement on academic exchanges. This will provide students and lecturers with opportunity to do training or internship in the other country as part of Erasmus+ European program. The agreement implies a semester long exchanges in the areas of German Philology, History, and Political Sciences.

On September 27 and 28, Michael Seyfarth, who was a staff member of TSU and a DAAD lecturer from 2014 to 2018, and more recently, works at University of Greifswald, is in Tomsk. Michael became one of those who contributed to making of the agreement between the two universities.

Igor Kochev, a senior lecturer of the Department of New and Recent History and International Relations of the Faculty of Historical and Political science worked closely on the agreement on the part of TSU. In addition, the prehistory of the agreement is formed by good business contacts of Tatiana Demeshkina, the Dean of Faculty of Philology, and Professor Harry Walter, who works at the Department of Slavic Languages in University of Greifswald.

– An internship in Germany is, of course, a great benefit for any student who studies German or does German studies. The opportunity to plunge into the language environment, get access to library archives, and learn the methodology of scientific research in Germany gives invaluable experience. Therefore, we expect a queue of those wishing to participate in such kind of academic exchange. And this opportunity should motivate students, starting with their first-year, to be diligent in learning the language, – noted Igor Kochev.

The student selection procedure will be standard, i.e. on a competitive basis. To get a letter of recommendation for a host university, TSU students will need to show not only substantial knowledge of German, but also high academic performance in other subjects, and pro-active attitude. A similar selection will be made on the other side for sending students from the German university to Tomsk State University.

– The agreement is due from the second semester of the current academic year to 2021, – Olga Maslennikova, the director of the Centre for Joint International Academic Programmes in TSU, told about organizational details. – During this period, for each semester the universities are ready to accept one exchange student each. All major expenses will be covered by the EU which funds Erasmus+ programme. The cost of tickets and accommodation will be compensated for the students traveling to the other country on the exchange. In addition, they will receive a stipend during all five months of their study.

As part of the agreement between TSU and University of Greifswald, the internships and guest lectures of the teaching staff are also scheduled. It is possible that following the results of Michael Seyfarth’s visit to Tomsk and the negotiations held, the opportunities given within this agreement will be expanded. The participants will also be able to organize short-term internships, for example, to collect the materials during their preparation of graduation theses, pre-graduation internship, and other purposes.

– We hope that in a year or two our experience will lead to creation of a joint academic programme, as well as doing joint research and publications. It is true that we must not forget that University of Greifswald has similar agreements with other universities, including those in Russia, and the program budget has a certain limit. This means that we will compete both for the right to send our student or staff member to Germany, and that to accept a representative of the German side, – added Igor Kochev.

Michael Seyfarth, in his turn, told that he learned about Tomsk when he first visited Russia seven years ago and began working as a DAAD lecturer.

– I liked the city immediately, and I worked here for four years. Now I work in Germany, but I maintain links with Russia. My colleagues and I consider different cities which might be interesting to us. At that time, we had already had a partnership with St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad. But I chose Tomsk since I worked in this city for a long time. TSU is a more European university than many other Russian universities, here the quality of research is very high, everything is organized easily at the administrative level. In addition, there is a unique atmosphere at TSU, the students are well organized here, there are active people and good prospects, – shared his opinion the German scientist.

During his visit to Tomsk, Michael Seyfarth will meet with the representatives of the Faculty of Foreign languages, Faculty of Historical and Political science, and Faculty of Philology. Incidentally, tomorrow on September 28, from 9:00 to 12:00 the students will be able to do onSET language test (TSU Building 2, room 237), and from 14:15 to 16:00 they will be able to attend the seminar “Scientific research in Europe – how to find a supervisor and write Research Proposal” (the Main Building of TSU, room 209).