The only Russian student at University of Groningen summer school
Anastasia Popadyin, a student at the RANEPA Institute of Public Administration and Civil Service, has attended an international summer course at the oldest university in the Netherlands, Groningen.
Anastasia Popadyin is a third-year at the Presidential Academy, in the Public Administration and Legal Regulation program, which includes foreign languages and legal disciplines. At the summer school, she took a course in Society, Environment, Transportation and Space: The Dutch Experience from the Faculty of Spatial Sciences of the University of Groningen.
The summer school for students of the IPACS division of international regional studies and regional management was held at Groningen for the first time this year. The aim of the summer course was to develop an understanding of the ways The Netherlands deals with economic, environmental and settlement challenges. Students from the US, Canada, India, China, Japan, Taiwan and Norway attended the summer school, but Anastasia Popadyin was the only student from Russia.
“The program of the summer course was interesting and related to my major; we studied highly relevant management and urban cases. There were tasks involving the compact city concept (walking accessibility of all essential facilities), and shared space (areas of the road where there are no clear markings or traffic rules). We also considered ways to deal with traffic jams in the city,” the student said.
The first days were difficult because she had to establish communication with other students who spoke English with different accents, Anastasia said. It was important to figure out the habits and characteristics of representatives of different countries. It took several days to adapt. It helped that the students worked in teams, which was very effective. The curators who arranged informal meetings of the summer school participants also helped them establish contacts, she added.
Anastasia became interested in public administration in high school. She was actively engaged in public work back then and realized that she wanted to not only resolve problems, but also to prevent them. She decided to go to the Presidential Academy and never regretted her choice for a moment. The Academy sets high standards for its students who gain relevant knowledge as well as practical skills. “State and Municipal Administration is an area of study that meets my aspirations. I dream of being useful to my country, so I chose the civil service as my future occupation. The experience of going to a summer school at the University of Groningen will certainly come in handy,” she concluded.