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Engineering forges ties with Russia

November 13, 2006

Source: McMaster University

by Faculty of EngineeringNovember 13, 2006

Russia's Consul General was on campus last week discussing expanding educational linkages with the Faculty of Engineering.

Nikolay Smirnov and his wife, Tatiana Stybalina, joined a luncheon with several faculty members and students to learn more about the Engineering Study Abroad Program (ESAP).

Twelve students participated in the program last year, which was offered over seven weeks in May and June. Students studied credit-level engineering and cultural courses, and visited several cities in Eastern Europe.

Konstantin Kreyman, director of ESAP and a professor of engineering, spoke about the need for increased educational partnerships in a growing international economy and opportunities to increase ties with Russian universities. Discussions included the possibility of adding three- or four-month work terms at Russian engineering firms.

"The appeal of the location is what first got me interested in the program," said Carly Forsythe, a fourth-year civil engineering and management student. "I had wanted to travel to Russia last summer, and this was the perfect opportunity to immerse myself in the culture instead of simply being a tourist. The culture is just so unique and unlike anything else, especially travelling through the country and then really immersing ourselves in an area with so much history and meeting and befriending the locals."

ESAP is offered in partnership with Michigan State University and two Russian Universities: State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering in Volgograd and St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University.

Last summer, students studied in Volgograd and visited St. Petersburg (the former capital of Russia) and Moscow. Some students also chose to visit either Prague in the Czech Republic or Kiev in Ukraine.

"There was an appeal to study in a culture that is relatively unknown to me," said Kevin McCullough, a fourth-year Mechnical Engineering and Management student. "To work study under Russian Nationals was a great learning experience and gave me some insight on how to approach different cultures on a social and professional level."

For students interested in participating in the summer 2006 program, applications are now being accepted. More information can be found here.



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