On May 20, a final meeting of students of the Institute of Foreign Languages of Petrozavodsk State University with youth (students and schoolchildren) from the twin city of Tubingen took place. The meeting was held in the videoconference mode on the ZOOM platform and was a continuation of the online youth exchange project “Tubingen-Petrozavodsk”.
The final meeting within the framework of the virtual bilingual round table “Tourist Karelia”, organized annually under the leadership of Associate Professor of the Department of German and French languages E.N. Vorotilina and senior lecturer of the Department of Foreign Languages of Humanities O.O. Nikolaeva, was devoted to the demonstration of videos shot by the students of group 113 of the Institute of Foreign Languages and young people (students and high school students) in Tubingen, as well as identifying the most liked creative works and summing up the results of the youth virtual exchange.
One of the initiators of the meeting was the Karelian Foundation for the Development of People’s Diplomacy, headed by N.V. Lavrushina. The meeting was traditionally moderated by Stephan Klingebiel, an expert from the International Relations Department of the Tübingen City Hall.
During the meeting, the participants had the opportunity to clarify issues related to what they wanted to say with their digital stories, to which sights of the twin cities to draw the attention of their foreign colleagues. The activity of students of the 113th group of the Institute of Foreign Languages of PetrSU deserves special praise. The students emphasized in their speeches after the demonstration of the video why they chose one or another genre when preparing the Digital Story (a wide palette was presented: from a popular science film about Gelderlin and interviews with the mayor and residents of Tübingen to epics and detective stories).
The meeting resulted in a vote on the most liked videos and a survey on what the virtual exchange brought young participants. The first place among Russian videos was given to a digital story about a curious prince. The second place went to the story “Four Friends” with comic book elements. The third place was given to the story “Mysticism in Karelia”, the main characters of which were the characters of the Potteriana. Among the German participants, the voices were distributed somewhat differently: two videos at once – the story of the Nekkar River, on which the city of Tübingen stands, and the story of the museum of the German poet Hölderlin, which combined the genre of popular science film and animation, won the first prize. The second place went to a video about the Market Square of Tübingen and created in the genre of interviews with the residents of Tübingen.
How do students evaluate the results of the virtual youth exchange? The most popular option during the exchange was the opportunity to meet and communicate with peers from abroad. Communication among the youth of the twin cities was no less important. Many noted that they learned a lot about both the sister city and their city. As it turned out, applied competences are also of interest to the younger generation, such as: making and editing a film, interviewing, and improving their foreign language skills.
At the end of the meeting, both sides expressed their hope for the continuation of such a project in 2021-22. and supported the idea of holding a round table “We are all different under the same stars” in the format of a video conference in September 2021.