On the evening of November 16, 2017 — to coincide with International Students Day on November 17th in Chita, Russia and Harbin, China — Siberian Bridges co-hosted a long-distance, live video-conference for university students from three countries—Russia, China, and the United States—on the theme of “The Student in the Age of Interconnectivity.”
The participating institutions—in Chita, Russia: the Chita Institute of Baikal State University; in Harbin, China: Harbin Institute of Technology; and in the USA: the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota—recruited students to share their experiences and perspectives with their peers overseas. The institutions offered videos about themselves, and provided interpreters, stenographers, and moderators. Students in Harbin and Chita prepared papers focusing on International Students Day and its significance. Lively discussions followed both the institution videos and the student presentations. The liveliest topic was about practical concerns that arise around volunteering as a student. There was great interest among both the students and the hosting institutions in continuing such video-conferencing, perhaps as an annual event, perhaps as smaller events about particular topics, perhaps small meet ups for research.
International Students Day is a holiday observed all over the world that celebrates how international and exchange students enrich the learning environment and foster cross-cultural understanding. In the same spirit, we know that students in Chita, Harbin, and the Twin Cities will have much to learn from each other. It was started by students in Czechslovakia in the 1930s after demonstrations against Fascism.
Here are some photos and below them are links to the translations of scripts of some of the videos (the Russian video was a student production with a song as the audio), and texts of the Chinese and Russian student presentations.