When Bath Spa University student Brioney Russ first heard about RANEPA’s 2016 Summer Campus programme in Kazan city, Russia she said ‘It did seem challenging, but I can’t say no to a challenge’.
Brioney first heard of the opportunity via the Global Citizenship programme at Bath Spa University, designed to recognise the global perspective of undergraduate studies and to open opportunities for students in the global employment market. As part of the Global Citizenship programme Brioney received a scholarship to support her international study.
The Summer Campus programme is based on conflicts and their resolutions with 11 days of teamwork and over 50 case studies with students from around the world united students into 12 independent advisory ‘think tanks’, guided by Campus tutors and moderators. Experts on the programme included the British Embassy Economic Counsellor, Ian Proud, Senior Vice President, Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer of The Coca-Cola Company, Clyde C. Tuggle and Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Arkady Dvorkovich.
The cases touched on areas including business and state, history and society, career, relations and psychology, culture and art. Starting with an introductory course on conflict, the participants then worked in teams to demonstrate their leadership skills, analytical abilities and capacity for project work. Students also took part in a course of art classes with the aim to master new skills and values in art, music and photography.
‘We had lecterns, different speakers talk to us on different topics with a busy schedule every day, including debates, presentations, activities and challenges’ Brioney said of her experience. ‘We gained a lot from working internationally and it definitely makes me realise there is so much more I can do. The experience opened my eyes.’
Winning awards within her team for being the ‘most active team’ ‘best group presentation’ and ‘most cultural performance’ Brioney said ‘the experience really boosted my confidence and gave me a lot of personal skills: leadership, team-working, debating. It was good to work with people from different cultures, with different ways of communicating’.
With more than sixty foreign students at the summer school, Brioney was glad to make international peer contacts. She added ‘I am keeping in touch with over 80 international students from Summer Campus on Facebook. It was a very emotional ending because we had bonded so much’.
How has it changed her perspective? ‘The Summer campus was incredibly challenging and there was a tremendous sense of achievement to see it through to the end. I would really like to study abroad – perhaps a Masters. I have more confidence in taking on more challenges now.’
Link to RANEPA Summer Campus programme: http://www.campus4youth.com/
For admissions information to RANEPA Summer campus: http://www.ranepa.ru/eng/admissions/summer-camp
Link to the Bath Spa University Global Citizenship programme: http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/schools/cross-schools/courses/global-citizenship
Link to British Embassy Economic Counsellor, Ian Proud’s lecture at RANEPA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCf-WXLr7Mc
Photos: awards ceremony at RANEPA (featured image); closing ceremony at RANEPA (release of balloons); at the beginning of the programme celebrating 5 years of the programme at RANEPA