Each year the first-year students of the master’s degree program ‘Studies in European Societies’ under the supervision of the invited DAAD-lecturer Madeleine Block make a trip to Germany to participate in a winter school dedicated to the economical, political and social institutes of German society. The first part of the studies always take place in Bielefeld, a city that is considered one of the most significant centres for sociology. Here were working distinguished scientists such as Niklas Luhmann and Norbert Elias on their research. An office of the key partner of our program, the Centre for German and European Studies, is also located in Bielefeld.
The location of the second part of the studies varies from year to year. For example, in 2014 and 2015 the students went to Berlin, to get acquainted with different aspects of the political, social, historical and cultural city life. Their program included visits to such political organizations as The Federal Assembly (Bundestag), The Federal Council (Bundesrat) and The Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Also they were introduced to the city’s creative industries (for instance, the TRIAD agency that develops creative projects worldwide) and they studied the history of Berlin visiting such sights as Charlottenburg castle, Lustgarten park near the Museum Island and the Olympic stadium.
‘I was impressed by the amplitude of the ‘Betel’ activity. It is wonderful that we had a chance to visit the foundation museum and to know more about its work. Two weeks allowed us the time to become immersed into the German language at the Berlity school and to get acquainted with the university life. I recall a greatly equipped library and an enormous dining-room. The visits to different organizations gave me a chance not only to communicate with its employees, but also to receive information about possible internships in the future. I liked most of all the meeting with the DAAD representative Thomas Prahl. We had a very positive and explicit talk.’
‘We came back to St. Petersburg filled up with new ideas! The experience that we received in frames of the school, will be very useful for our work on Master’s theses.’ (Valeria Erashova)