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AUCA student Ratibor Goriainov (TCMA) shares his impressions about International Online Discussions between AUN and AUCA

June 8, 2020

##online_learning_experience

Recently, AUCA professor Ekaterina Galimova together with AUN professor Emilienne Akpan launched the International Online Discussions between the American University of Nigeria and the American University of Central Asia. Here is a story of Prof. Galimova's student Ratibor Goriainov (TCMA) about his experience with the new online occasion.

"While in the USA, my dad met Mr. Lawal who is a cyber policeman from Lagos, Nigeria. Mr. Lawal is an amazing, open person, and well-known in his field. He has never been to Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Lawal began to dream of a trip to Kyrgyzstan and bestowed Nigerian national outfit designed by himself to my father hoping that someday they would meet again in Kyrgyzstan. 

Right after the Winter holidays our FYS professor Ekaterina Galimova asked us if we wanted to discuss with students from the American University in Nigeria (AUN). We agreed and I thought to myself: “Can’t believe the magic works!” 
So, we had one month to get ready for the talk. The preparation for the first online event was very intense: we searched for the sources, watched videos, finally we had a debate on the topic “Money is the best motivation in the workplace”. The first online meeting did not work out; everyone was worried, it seemed we would have to speak to a crowd of thousands. The AUN students felt not at ease too, but soon after introductory videos about the two universities, the excitement passed and everything went on a wave of optimism. Although the first conference did not go as we expected in terms of the number of students (some had lessons, others had unforeseen circumstances), I think it was a wonderful experience for us to find out what people from another continent think. 
In about a week or so, we were invited to participate in the second discussion. This time the theme “Postcolonialism in Things Fall Apart by Achebe” was connected to the FYS text and seemed to be more difficult. Everyone was very worried, but no one showed it. This time we prepared better, we held together somehow. I felt a certain spirit of friendship in the air: none tried to answer better, to be stronger or smarter, all the comments took place on a positive wave. I cannot single out anyone in particular as they all seemed to complement each other; we were like a real family. At the end of the second discussion, I wondered if everything was clear to the AUN students. Personally, it seemed to me that it was not difficult at all to understand the Nigerian students, they just had a slight accent when they pronounced the sound [o] like we used to hear [ˈmʌni] while the AUN students said [moni], but in general, there were no problems in understanding. 
I wish I could participate in international discussions more often, on various topics ranging from politics to the latest news in the world of sports, I believe that when talking on different topics, people will feel more relaxed, and such events will help the two peoples to establish friendly and professional contacts. I am grateful to our FYS professor Ekaterina Galimova and professor from the AUN Emilienne Akpan, for the great opportunity to practice our English and meet wonderful people. It seems like the Nigerian outfit does have a voodoo effect! With the magic outfit, the sorcery of friendship between our universities has begun."

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