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International Youth Contacts
Nowadays international youth contacts become very important. From Europe to Australia, Asia and Africa teenagers pack their bags and go to the country they have probably only read about or seen on TV. There are special exchange programmes between schools and universities, which give students the possibility to visit different countries, to study there and to learn the culture of the countries.
The main goals of the exchange programmes for secondary school students are the following:
• to break the stereotypes;
• to improve understanding between the countries and the students;
• to represent the country;
• to learn more about the countries;
• to practise foreign languages;
• to study in another country;
• to apply knowledge when students return back in order to build a better future in their own country, and, of course, many other goals.
Not every student can participate in the programme. The student needs to demonstrate good knowledge of a foreign language, ability to adapt to a very different way of life and new people, ability to make friends and communicate, to represent their country and to be flexible and outgoing.
Today many Russian and American students participate in such programmes because they want to know more about other countries. The programmes are very successful. The desire to learn more about the country attracts more and more students to participate in them.
When students arrive in different countries, everything is different for them: the way people eat, sleep, work, and all the various leisure activities. So there are special programmes for adaptation especially with those students living with host families.
During the Soviet period a very limited number of students could come to Russia and vice versa. That's why during that period foreign people knew very little about the life in Russia. Now the situation is different. Students can travel to different countries, they can learn and work there, they can participate in different exchange programmes between countries. It is an incredible experience and something that the students will remember forever.
1. What are the main goals of the exchange programmes for secondary school students? 2. What docs a student need to participate in this programme? 3. What problems do exchange students have? 4. Do the students know much about different countries before the programme? 5. How docs the programme influence the students' lives? 6. Why are the programmes successful? 7. Wiry do such programmes build a bridge between countries?