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For many students, summer is a time to gain some work experience and apply their training to allow them become familiar with some of the finer points of their chosen profession

Students of all generations face the same problems

For many students, summer is a time to gain some work experience and apply their training to allow them become familiar with some of the finer points of their chosen profession. For some, this will confirm whether or not they have made the right decision in their choice of career.

Internship helps familiarise new employees with the nuances of their future profession

Students from the Belarusian institutions of higher education complete the practical element of their training outside the country, as well as in placements at home. The development of foreign partnerships for this purpose is encouraged within our universities and colleges. The Belarusian State Medical University, for example, co-operates with various foreign educational establishments and research organisations. Each year more than twenty medical students undergo practical training in Poland, Germany and Russia following an international exchange agreement.

The students have to work hard to achieve the goal of a foreign placement; they are required to have high examination results, a bank of experience in the medical sphere and be able to demonstrate their active participation in the university’s public and scientific life. Final year medical student Tatiana Naumenok considers herself lucky to have obtained a place this summer at the First Moscow State Medical University (named after I.M. Sechenov), one of the most authoritative medical institutions in the CIS, and perhaps in Europe. Tatiana however, has made her own good fortune and has earned this privilege, telling us, “I have good average grades, and am active in university life so I decided there was no harm in applying for training in Russia. I was very pleased when I had a call from the Dean’s office offering me the chance to go to Moscow in July. Of course, I immediately agreed. I have already had training in the hospitals in Minsk, we assisted doctors during surgeries, examined patients and helped with diagnosis. I am sure that this experience will be useful for me, both in practice in Moscow, and in my future work.”

Whilst students about to enter their final year try to find time to combine both work experience and pleasure, graduates from the institutes of higher education struggle with their search for work. Students of state-financed education have already chosen their guaranteed first two-year placement in spring at the postgraduate work assignment. This posting does not always coincide with the student’s dream position. To illustrate, the majority of the graduates from the Institute of Journalism at the Belarusian State University, dreamt of working in mass media organisations in the capital city but most have been assigned to posts in various parts of the country including Gomel, Rechitsa, Polotsk, Krichev and Zhodino.

According to the education guidelines, the students can lawfully refuse working at the place assigned to them, but will then have to compensate the government for the considerable cost of the university expenses for their education. The choice is limited, pay the bill or resign oneself to the romance of a life in the provinces for a short time.

In Belarus almost every fifth young person is a student. While each generation has its own identity, the problems they face are basically unchanged. They worry about how to pass exams and where to buy a cheap lunch, as well as how to find work and juggle their busy timetables in a day that never has more than 24 hours in it.

By Kristina Khilko
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