The Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages
Moscow State Linguistic University

Summer Russian-Austrian language school “Tandem-2021”


From July 19 to 30, 2021 an online summer language school “Tandem-2021” was successfully hosted by Moscow State Linguistic University. It was organized in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Burgenland with financial support from the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research of Austria.

24 Austrian and 32 Russian students took part in the program. This year students from 7 Russian universities took active part in the program. 8 students of the faculty of the German language and 2 students of the Faculty for International Students represented MSLU.

The program of 60 academic hours comprised a language training course: Austrian students were studying the Russian language with Russian professors, and Russian students were studying German with German professors. They also listened to the reports of the specialists in the field of economics and education and carried out project activities.

The classes were held via ZOOM and Moodle online platforms, which granted the students full and steady access to all the materials of the course.

The projects were culturally-oriented and were carried out by all the students following the “Tandem” guidelines. The students held virtual excursions around Moscow and Vienna and taught each other how to cook national dishes. Together they went to see the making of Khokhloma in Russia and visited a chocolate factory in Austria. They also told each other about the most famous people of their countries and in mixed teams they participated in a quiz “Dou you know Russia/Austria well?”

As part of the program, Russian and Austrian students had the opportunity to take part in discussions on relevant issues of our time: the development of youth cooperation through international educational projects, bilateral economic relations between Russia and Austria, the challenges of the pandemic age and the Russian economic strategy. Lectures on these issues were delivered by invited specialists in the field of economics and education: Shivleta Tagirova, deputy chairperson of the Scientific and educational initiative for African countries, N. Feichtinger, Assistant to the Economic Representative of the Austrian Center for Foreign Trade in Moscow, Oleg Radchenko, Professor of the Department of General and Comparative Linguistics, Moscow State Linguistic University.

The students had a unique opportunity not only to improve their language skills while talking to native speakers, learn a lot of new things about the culture and traditions of the country of the target language, but also to make friends with their foreign peers, talk about themselves, represent their country. All that helped to reach a more global goal, namely improving the understanding and cooperation between Russia and Austria.

Head of the program L. Vashak, professor at the Burgenland University of Applied Sciences, head of the program from the Russian side Konstantin. Kovalev, Director of the Institute of International Educational Programs of the Moscow State Linguistic University, as well as the organizers of this program: T. Zemmler-Matosich, professor, doctor, head of the Curriculum "International Economic Relations" of the Burgenland University of Applied Sciences, Dana Bartosh, Professor of the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language, the Faculty for International Students, Moscow State Linguistic University, and Maria Kharlamova, Associate Professor of the Department of Grammar and History of the German Language of the Faculty of the German language of MSLU, hope that this project will be continued in 2022 and already in offline format in Moscow.

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