Beyond Cultural Stereotypes: Video Conference with American Students
Second-year HSE students of economics have discussed cultural stereotypes with students of the Montclair State University.
The video conference was organized by lecturers from the HSE Campus in Perm Department of Foreign Languages, Associate Professor Marina Sheveleva, and Professor Tatiana Permyakova. Marina Sheveleva is currently on an academic internship at the Monclair State University as part of the Fulbright programme.
The topic of the discussion was ‘Beyond Cultural Stereotypes’. Students of HSE in Perm spoke about the image of the American people as they see it, and the U.S. students shared their view on Russians. Many of the questions provoked a lively discussion. Is it true that there is no homework in U.S. schools? Is it true that all Russians drink and all Americans eat junk food? What traditions do you have in student dorms? Why do students learn foreign languages?
Despite the late night in Perm and early morning in the U.S. (the meeting was organized taking into account the 10-hour time difference), students from both sides talked, joked a lot and maintained the discussion. Both sides expressed the hope that such communication would become more regular.
Jefferson Gatrall, Associate Professor, Director of the Russian Programme, Montclair State University:
‘On Wednesday, November 11, students of Russian at Montclair State University met via teleconference with students studying English at the Higher School of Economics. Both sides had a wonderful time--even if the "time" was quite different, 9am in New Jersey and 7pm in Perm. MSU students spoke in Russian, and HSE students in English. We discussed, and debunked, many stereotypes about Russia and America. We talked about our studies, the films we watch, and the frustrations of our long morning commutes. Overall, we learned a lot about those aspects of our daily lives that are far more important than medvedi and McDonald's’.
The organizers of the video conference are grateful to Nadezhda Barklyanskaya, Teaching and Learning Specialist at the HSE Department of Foreign Languages, Professor Jefferson Gatrall, as well as the Telecommunication and Media Technology at HSE Campus in Perm for their help in organizing the event.