Tomsk State Pedagogical University

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Students from China develop theit pedagogical skills and dive into cultural life of Russia together with Tomsk students.

Chinese master's students studying at the Tomsk State Pedagogical University (TSPU) immersed themselves in Russian cultural traditions during a visit to a Tomsk city school.

The students, specializing in Russian as a foreign language, explored traditions of New Year celebrations as part of a project titled «School Museum of the 21st Century: New Horizons».

As part of this project, TSPU students, along with their Russian language instructor, Elena Alexandrovna Serebrennikova, were invited to the School No. 36 in Tomsk. The foreign guests were welcomed by 11th-grade students who not only shared insights into the main traditions of celebrating the New Year and Christmas in Russia but also showed unique holiday rituals, assisted in decorating the Christmas tree, and conducted a workshop on making paper angels.

The Chinese students also were glad to share aspects of their own New Year celebrations in China. In contrast to Russian customs, Chinese schools do not engage in hands-on crafts, and instead of handmade gifts, people exchange money in red envelopes. They also don't launch festive fireworks and do not decorate evergreen trees. However, there are similarities with Russian traditions, such as spending the New Year holidays with family, making dumplings with a hiddein coin for good luck, and watching movies.

For the first-year master's students, visiting a Russian school was a new experience, offering an opportunity to learn about the culture of Russia and apply their pedagogical skills by sharing their knowledge of Chinese traditions with the participants.

Серебренникова«We plan to continue collaborating with schools as part of our foreign students' education because it provides excellent practice for their socio-cultural adaptation and understanding of the methodology of teaching Russian as a foreign language, — says Elena Alexandrovna Serebrennikova, lecturer at the Department of Language Theory and Methodology of Russian Language Teaching. — We are preparing a meeting to compare the educational systems and institutions of the two countries. This exchange of opinions and ideas on educational matters will enhance students' proficiency in the Russian language within a professional context. Additionally, it allows teachers and Tomsk school students to gain experience in international collaboration and knowledge exchange».

This collaborative effort not only helps foreign students develop pedagogical skills for their future careers but also contributes to their master's theses, some of which are focused on a comprehensive comparison of the cultures of the two countries.


Simultaneously, TSPU's Institute of Foreign Languages and International Cooperation conducts a comprehensive program for the socio-cultural adaptation of foreign students. In the upcoming semester, the institute plans to organize both in-person and online Russian as a foreign language clubs. Senior students will continue to mentor foreign learners, and the program will include workshops, excursions to historical sites in Tomsk, and involvement in voluntary activities—a highly effective method for adapting to new socio-cultural realities.