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Summer School ‘Russian – Chinese Business: Cultural and Legal Aspects’ Held at HSE Nizhny Novgorod

In August 2018, the Faculty of Law at HSE Nizhny Novgorod hosted the annual summer school ‘Russian – Chinese Business: Cultural and Legal Aspects’. This year, the delegation from China was twice as big as last year, and the number of volunteers increased significantly, which clearly shows that summer schools with partner universities gain momentum!

The school was an effective combination of educational, cultural and linguistic components. Chinese students learnt about the basics of Russian law and Russian language during interactive lectures conducted by teachers and volunteer students from the Faculty of Law. The lectures covered issues of constitutional, civil, family, migration and information law, and features of intellectual property regulation in Russia. Special attention was paid to comparative law.

Some features of Russian law surprised our guests, some seemed strange, and some aroused lively discussions. The practical part of each lecture represented a variety of practice-oriented tasks: case studies of trials, roundtables, role-plays and other activities. Students took part as human rights defenders, the parties of the court proceedings and even shared procedural features in Chinese law.

A special place in the school programme was dedicated to the lectures on the history of Russia, and Russian law and language, which helped Chinese colleagues to feel the atmosphere of Russia during the summer school. Guests learnt about the culture of our country, walked around the most beautiful sights of the city, visited the Kremlin, Nizhny Novgorod zoo and Shchelkovsky Khutor, where they learned to play traditional Russian games.

After visiting Semenov and Gorodets, our colleagues learned a lot about the customs and traditions of Russia and its famous crafts and even tried to decorate their own matryoshka. Having visited GAZ Museum, the students gained an appreciation of the rich history of Nizhny Novgorod machine building and even chose a few collectible copies of Tchayka cars and other executive class vehicles.

The participants particularly enjoyed master classes on Russian cuisine,. Russian cheesecakes, pancakes and soup will remind them of the trip to Russia for a long time.

Our visitors enjoyed sunsets on the Volga and Oka rivers, visited the football stadium, took in a hockey match, rode the cable car and went to all the major parks in the city, as well as trying their hands at karaoke and bowling, and even took a boat trip along the Volga river.

Some of Chinese students share their impressions of the summer school:

Yundan Zheng and Francisco Luo:

'I had a lot of thoughts on the way back home, and I truly think this tour was really worth it, and have so many feelings and experiences to show you. Russia, is a so called ‘enemy nation‘. My preconceptions were that Russian people were cold,  and serious. But during those two weeks, I felt totally different things. The volunteers were incredibly interesting, chatty and cheerful people. You guys would keep our habits in mind when we went somewhere. We will never forget our discussions about our world,our countries, our cities, our families, futures, love and dreams. You’ll stay in our hearts forever!'

Gua Gua:

'During these two weeks, we were totally away from previous lives. There was no need to be an intern or complete an thesis, we were able to just enjoy the trip, the amazing country and city which were both changed a lot by the World Cup, which I like a lot because I’m a huge football fan. I think, Russian people are really proud of this event happening in their country. Coming back to our two weeks, I truly know all of you volunteers were experiencing two tough and tiring weeks. We hope it’ll be useful in your future careers. We want to invite all you guys to come to our school, our city and country to study or just to visit. You will be warmly welcomed. We will always remember you. Sincere thanks to all you guys!'

HSE volunteers also shared their thoughts about the event:        

Zhanna Shabanova:

'It’s the second time I’ve participated in the law summer school both as volunteer, and teacher of Russian. Every year the programme becomes more interesting and richer. Our friends from China liked the lectures in law and Russian very much, they tried to learn a lot of new things. If we talk about extracurricular time, these two weeks were unforgettable. I will always remember this wonderful time, I hope that in the future I will also have an opportunity to learn about the traditions and culture of China and will enjoy studying there.'

Dmitry Palamarchuk and Anastasia Cherepanova:

'As part of the summer school, Anastasia Cherepanova and I prepared a lecture on ‘Legal Regulation of the Information Sphere: YouTube and Internet Trade’. Because of the specifics and complexity of the topic, Nastya and I decided to hold a mini-lecture on copyright at the beginning, then go to the protection of author rights on YouTube video hosting, and to finish the lecture with basic provisions on trading on the Internet. So that the students didn’t feel bored, we developed several case studies on the topics discussed, and after some brief theoretical blocks we gave our colleagues an opportunity to study them and try to give a legal qualification. We were pleasantly surprised that students coped with the tasks, and after 5-7 minutes they had learnt the theory. Later it turned out that a similar system of author rights protection operates in China.'



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