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Regular version of the site
Book chapter
Common Government Services Portal of Russian Federation. How do people use it? What is the attitude towards it?
In print

Petrova E.

In bk.: Digital Transformation & Global Society: Second International Conference, DTGS 2017, St. Petersburg, Russia, June 21-23, 2017, Revised Selected Papers. Springer International Publishing, 2017.

That’s the Way It Happens: Academic Mobility Explained

The Karlshochschule International University is a private owned university of Applied Sciences in the City of Karlsruhe, Germany. It focuses on international markets and intercultural collaboration in business, which is very similar to the HSE main objectives. This year, Karls (the informal name of Karlshochschule) became home for 3 HSE students, when the HSE greeted 2 Karls’ students. During these series of interview, we would share with you experiences and emotions of exchange students, as well as the expert opinion of both Karls’ and HSE International office.

JuttaWalz, Head of International Office

(Karlshochschule International University)

— What does this exchange process mean for the Karlshochschule?

— This is a part of our philosophy. First all, we believe that students, who have contact with “internationals”- people from different nationalities, they enlarge their mindset. They might question their point of view, because they got used to the new opinions, new possibilities, which makes them reflect and which develop their competencies and their personalities.

Secondly, the exchange process is very important in a today’s economy. On the one hand, Germany is a big exporter, not only regarding markets but it is also about the workforce, which makes our home more and more diverse, so it is also vital to gain this intercultural communication knowledge.

In Karlshochshule semester abroad is integrated into all our bachelor programs, and in some, it is even mandatory. And the other thing is to get internationalization inside the university (it is called “internationalization at home”), and this is another reason why we want to do this on the exchange basis: to have diversity in Karlshochschule’s population so that everybody can learn from everybody else.

— How has the process of exchanging improved through the time?

— It started almost from the very beginning of Karlshochschule. When I came here in 2010, it was already strong, but the numbers were not as high as they are now. Also, the name of the university was changed from Merkurhochschule to Karlshochschule International University, so it is the mindset changing as well. During my second year here, when in 2011 the percentage of the bachelor students going abroad reached 80%, and it stayed that high ever since.

The first thing is that we are a very young university, so it took time for us to build a network of partner universities abroad and to become well recognized. And the second thing is that when the first few pioneers started (doing the semester abroad) and others see and then they say: “Oh, this is something I can do too!”. And another thing is that the school system in Germany has changed, and therefore many students took a gap year before going to the University. Most of them spend this year abroad, which makes them more open to this opportunity in Karlshochschule once they have already been there.

— How many incoming students usually arrive in Karlshochschule per semester?

— It has changed through the time, but the average number is approximately 60.

— How many German students are currently in Russia? Why, do you think, they picked such a country?

— Two of our students are currently in Russia. Those students study IR (International Relations), and I guess for this topic Russia is very interesting, as it is a very important political player. We also offer Russian as a foreign language course, it runs in some small groups, so there are always a few students interested in Russian language, culture and economy.

The relationship between our countries used to be very strong. I know that it has changed a little bit due to the political difficulties and embargo, but still that Germany and Russia are very important partners.

— Which programs in Karlshochschule are the most popular among the incoming students?

— There are three such programmes. That’s IB (International Business), IR (International Relations) and the majority of Master’s studies.

— What are the most common problems that incoming students are facing? (e.g. accommodation, paper routine)

— Some of these Finding accommodation is the most common one. Whenever I read students reports, there is always some troubles: It was so hard to find a place to stay, or it was so dirty/ so far away/ my roommates were too loud, so there is always something. What I can recommend to avoid this kind of trouble is to start looking for the accommodation as soon as possible and to be really persistent. I advise you to complete this a project. You will work on it almost every day, and this will help you to succeed.

— Why should every student try semester abroad?

— It is an amazing experience. I can see this whenever people are about to leave, and they are so sad that their semester abroad is over. During this time, you meet new people from all over the world. Your subjects may be taught in a different way, or you can take courses or even specializations that are not offered at home. I think most of all it is about the personality and how it changes thanks to this experience.