CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 5, 2010 – Southeast Missouri State University is hosting a foreign exchange contingent this spring from Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University in the Ukraine.
Three students and Dr. Tamara Yamchynska, the dean of foreign languages from Vinnytsia State, are visiting Southeast’s College of Education through April 12.
The students, who are studying to be English teachers, are learning about U.S. culture and education methods, while teaching students here about Ukrainian culture and education, according to Dr. Jean Benton, director of International Programs for the College of Education.
“The main purpose of their visit is to learn the latest pedagogical techniques and strategies and to find out what they can take back to use in their own classrooms,” Benton said.
The group is observing and participating in several courses offered by the College of Education, and has observed at elementary, middle and high schools in the Cape Girardeau, Perryville, Ste. Genevieve and Woodland school districts. They are sharing information about the Ukrainian educational system, history and culture during classroom presentations and panel discussions with Southeast students. In addition, they presented lectures entitled “Teacher Education in the Ukraine” to the faculty in the Colleges of Education and Health and Human Services.
The Ukrainian students are exploring American culture as well, by taking in a Southeast baseball game and going on shopping trips to the mall and Wal-Mart. They also enjoyed a hayride, complete with bonfire, s’mores and a sing-along, with students from Southeast. The group will round-out their trip with cultural tours of Memphis and St. Louis, before returning to the Ukraine.
The Vinnytsia State visit was organized by Dr. Jean Benton, director of International Programs for the College of Education. Svitlana Kuzmina, who is also from Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University, and serving as a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence this year in the College of Education, is serving as a liaison between the two institutions to facilitate the exchange, with the support of Dr. Margaret Noe, dean of the Southeast College of Education. Dr. Peter Yaremko, professor emeritus of political science, funded the costs of room and board for the Unkrainian visitors.