Erasmus Mundus pre-departure event in Ukraine
The first pre-departure event for future Erasmus Mundus students from Eastern Europe took place on 17 July in Kiev. The day-long orientation seminar, hosted by the Commission Delegation, was attended by more than 20 new Ukrainian scholarship recipients. It was organised jointly by the Delegation, the CIS & Mongolia Regional Chapter of the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association (EMA) and ICUnet, the EMA service provider.
The main objective of the orientation meeting was to familiarise the new students with issues related to their future studies, but also to prepare them to solve practical everyday situations related to their stay in the EU. This involved intensive training which dealt with different cultures and styles of communication, as well as discussions on the potential to integrate new Erasmus Mundus students into the alumni community after their return to Ukraine.
The students highly appreciated a special session with diplomats from various EU countries in which they will study during the 2009-2010 academic year. It helped them to establish direct contact with relevant embassies, and they heard about examples of good practice in important matters such as visa issuance and different ways of maintaining contact after their return to Ukraine. In addition, the students were given the opportunity to meet and share personal experiences with Ukrainian Erasmus Mundus alumni, one of the key objectives of EMA and the CIS & Mongolia Chapter.
The pre-departure orientation in Kiev opened a series of such events in CIS countries. On 20 July, a similar orientation seminar was held in Chisinau, Moldova, with the next one taking place in Moscow on 31 July. In 2010, there are plans to involve students and alumni from Belarus and Moldova in the pre-departure orientation in Ukraine.
More information about the CIS & Mongolia Regional Chapter EMA can be obtained from the president of the Chapter, Anna Butenko.