On June 3, the fourth annual hseXchange Night was held. The event brings together students related to various aspects of international academic mobility.
Over 150 participants gathered for the event in the Inliberty loft space: HSE nominees who participated in the event for the first time, students who recently returned from mobility programmes and were eager to share their experiences, and international students, who spoke about life in their home countries.
The event, which was months in the making, turned out even better than previous ones due to the experience of the organizers, who visited HSE partner universities and learned about academic mobility in detail.
Participants at the event not only chatted over tables representing different countries, but also tackled cases of various problems that students can face while studying abroad.
Participants played a game that consisted of three rounds. The first round was focused on experience exchange: the nominees discussed their upcoming trips with experts from the country, city or even university they were going to. They used special cards with questions about the upcoming exchange, which helped them to discuss the cases.
During the second and third rounds, participants mingled with students who planned to go to other countries as well as with international students.
The organizers tried to make the event a productive and meaningful experience that would help participants feel relaxed before moving to another country and prepared for their new life adventure. The organisers made a map of festivals and created a chat forum for communication and mutual assistance among nominees and experts in order to encourage communication of participants outside the event.
This time the organisers prepared mobility books - small notebooks with three checklists and a set of stickers, where participants could write down important things about mobility.
I went to the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne during the spring semester of my third year.
Since I was a moderator, I’d like to mention the organisers’ excellent work: everything was very well coordinated for an event of this scale.
No one felt lost, the atmosphere was friendly – no one held back; everyone felt at ease. It's cool that international students also attended the event. Participants found their ‘foreign ambassadors’ from the universities they are traveling to, and were able to ask them about student life and interesting courses.
As the moderator of the French group I talked more about problems that can arise withaccommodation, visas, and finance.
The last round was particularly helpful. Participants solved unusual cases that may seem very unlikely, but chances are at least one person in the group will face such problems (I speak from my own experience).
Despite the seriousness of the event (students speak English and need to learn a lot of information from as many participants as possible, and, worst of all – collect all necessary documents) the contests helped to make the atmosphere informal, so everyone had fun rather than feeling nervous.
I think this event is a must for anyone who has just returned from studying abroad, those are going to, or those who are planning to.