By Denys Balandin

The Forum of Rectors of Technical Higher Education Institutions of Ukraine and Poland took place at Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute on April 4-8. Its participants discussed questions concerning international cooperation of Polish and Ukrainian technical HEIs. Among spectacular gains of this year’s Forum were the scientific integration and exchange of experience that turned out brilliant successes.

A volunteer team of students was enlisted on the initiative of the International Collaboration Department and the Students’ Council of Igor Sikorsky KPI to arrange and hold the event. In particular, 157 students of KPI received training in one of the 15 directions. The initiators succeeded in forming the groups of forum organizers who have a good command of foreign languages, experience to work with artistic amateur groups, knack for organizing excursions and doing good public relations, among others. Each direction was managed by the leader of a volunteer group of students, who controlled the effectiveness of their work and promptly helped to cover all eventualities.

Voluntary participation of students in the Forum has borne fruit. As one of the representatives of the Warsaw Polytechnic University put it, “People with a gleam of charisma in their eyes do amazing things.” After the event was over, the volunteers made comments on it.

A volunteer, who worked in the group that provided transportation, said: “We helped guests to get to round table venues. There was a moment when it turned out that we were lacking guides, but our leaders promptly found additional reserves. I personally communicated with many Poles and one of them even complimented me on my classy volunteer’s T-shirt.”

A volunteer, who was in charge of an artistic amateur group, pointed out: “Chaperoning a Polish artistic amateur group, I acquired new knowledge and experience, as well as made acquaintance with pleasant people. Eventualities did happen as two Polish students managed to be lost during an excursion. However, we found them and continued our work. It was very tough parting from them: the Poles really did not want to let us go, promising to come there again.”

“We chose to practise spoken English and Polish, while we found a true dream team among the volunteers of our unit! It was a real pleasure to work with guests, and we were especially glad that they respected us and switched from English to our native Ukrainian language,” girls at the Contact Point of the Forum noted enthusiastically.

The head of the International Relations Department of the Students’ Council under Igor Sikorsky KPI stated: “I am more than happy that so many people agreed to help us. We proved that students can interact effectively with the administration. All volunteers were enthusiastic over the accumulated experience. Over the course of two days we have done a great amount of work, yet I don’t believe we succeeded in doing so. The Ukrainian-Polish Forum featured sincere emotions and the atmosphere of mutual respect.”

Feedback from volunteers leads to the conclusion that volunteer activities have a great future in KPI.

The author is a leader of service student detachments at Igor Sikorsky KPI

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