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Regular version of the site

HSE French Club: a Closed Community or a Place for Everybody?

There is no doubt that the majority of HSE students in Saint-Petersburg heard about HSE French Club but only a tiny minority actually knows what it exactly is.

Polina Klochko, member of the Club, agreed to answer some questions about the activity of this organization and explained its purposes.

Polina Klochko

Student, "Political Science and World Politics" BA Programme

HSE Illuminated: Hello, Polina! Without any doubt, French Club is a unique Club in HSE SPb. But there are many students who cannot understand what it is. So, what is the French Club of HSE in general and simple words?

Polina Klochko: Well, in common understanding, it is the Club, in which each meeting is concentrated on a particular topic or question for discussion. The managers of the French Club usually invite speakers, who discuss different political ideas and answer the questions about the issues, which they are competent in. All the meetings and discussions are in French, and that helps the members of the Club to master speaking the language.

HI: Who, to your mind, could be interested in visiting the meetings of the French Club?

PK: The Club was organized by Vera Ageeva and Sergey Akopov, who work in the Department of Political Science. As I told you before, the meetings are focused mainly on political issues, so the participation in the Club’s activities might be interesting mostly for political science students or for those people who like politics.

HI: What are the purposes of the French Club?

PK: The main purpose of the Club is the popularization of the French among HSE students in order to let them discuss political topics in the language. Moreover the Club tries to involve more and more people every year and inspire new members to learn French and increase their knowledge about it.

HI: How many people usually participate in meetings of the Club?

PK: Usually there are approximately 20 people per one meeting, but the number of participants may differ from time to time… For instance, 40 people were at the last meeting because the managers of the Club invited members of the Saint-Petersburg French association in order to make the discussion even more interesting than before.

HI: How are the meetings usually organized? Could you please tell me more about the activities during them? 

PK: Every meeting we have a main speaker, who reports on a particular topic. Besides, there are some people who add something concerning the subject of the further discussion. The audience listens to them and then asks questions in order to understand some things which are not so clear.

HI: How often the meetings are held?

PK: In fact, we have one meeting per a month.

HI: And finally, the question which might be interesting for the majority of the students who has only started learning French or has some general understanding about it: is it possible for the student with A1 level in French to enter the Club?

PK: Actually, it might be possible but it would be very complicated for the student with A1 level to understand anything. As I mentioned, all the meetings are held in French and topics of discussions could be quite complicated because they are oriented on those who have a good level of French.

But it is up to a student whether to come to the meetings or not, because all the members of the Club are always welcome to see new faces!!!

HI: Thanks you so much, Polina! It was a pleasure for me to interview you!

PK: Thanks for the questions, Alyona! It was a pleasure for me to answer them!

Text by
Alyona Ivanova

Contact HSE French Club