The past summer was the 5th when FESTU KISS (Khabarovsk International Summer School at the Far Eastern State Transport University) hospitably opened its doors for the youth from Asia.
This unique project of FESTU began in 2009. The first intake of students embraced 120 youngsters from People's Republic of China.
The Far Eastern State Transport University had already been involved in several joint international programs with foreign educational institutions which had become rather popular. But those programs raised the quite expected problem of adaptation of foreign students to the actual realities of living in Russia. It is not easy to immediately understand foreign culture and foreign mentality.
This was the reason why the FESTU Department for International Programs and Projects decided to develop a month long adaptation program specially for their smooth entry into the realities of Russian way of life and the Russian system of education. Even the first year of the program showed its efficiency. Foreign youngsters got acquainted with FESTU and its dormitories, they underwent testing to reveal the level of their knowledge and by the beginning of the school year the students of the summer school were ready to become full-fledged students of FESTU.
Nevertheless, it was decided to change this system of adaptation for the next year. It was important not to forget that the classes took place in summer, when everyone - no matter, Russian or Chinese - is longing for rest. And FESTU started to develop future programs taking into consideration not only educational purposes but also possibilities for good recreation. Moreover, young people from other Asian countries showed interest in studies at the summer school. They were not planning to study at FESTU but were eager to know more about Russia.
In the second year, in addition to Chinese students, young people from Japan and the Republic of Korea came to study at KISS. They were so interested in the Russian culture that they were ready to come here during their vacations. And it unintentionally happened that it was the acquaintance with Russia and its culture through Russian language studies that became the priority direction of the international school.
In 2012, the Khabarovsk Orthodox Theological Seminary actively participated in the work of the KISS. The organizers of the summer school reasonably decided that the history of the Russian State cannot be understood without knowing the basics of the Orthodox culture.
The 5th season of KISS enrolled more than 120 students. It has become a good tradition to finish up the season with a concert program where the actors are the summer school students themselves. This time the students of KISS showed their hearts' contentment with dancing, performances of Russian folk tales, and demonstrated their vocal talents singing songs in Russian and their native languages.
Svetlana Khan, the director of the Khabarovsk International Summer School has a dream: she wants all the countries of the Asian Pacific region to know about the KISS and young people from these countries to actively strive to study here. Russia is a mysterious and enigmatic country for them so far, but it can become close and homelike.