One of the most exciting events of this year was the World Festival of Youth and Students 2017 which was held in Sochi and some major regional cities of Russia in October. Although almost two months have passed since the end of the festival, our students who had the honor to be part of this international student community still remember the days of the festival and want to share these memories with you.
On October 14-22, more than 20 000 people from 150 countries participated in the World
Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) in Sochi. Whilst some of us had the opportunity to discover another Russian city apart from Sochi during the first part of the festival, the rest of us spent the entire week at the Black Sea.
Apart from attending discussion panels on international relations, ecology, public health, technologies of the future and other topics, we got the chance to participate in various sports events and cultural activities like concerts, visiting the former Olympic sports-complex in the mountains above Sochi or having a look at the exhibitions on different regions of Russia, their history and cultural legacies, presented by young people from these regions.
Participating in the WFYS was a great experience: It was a rather intensive week, marked by the daily struggles of trying hard not to be the last one to queue for lunch or not missing one’s bus back to the hotel late at night. But it was an amazing opportunity to spend a week in one of the many beautiful corners of Russia and to get to know more people from all over Russia, as well as fellow foreigners sharing one’s interest in the country.
The week of the WFYS was my best week of my exchange semester. I was selected for the regional program in Krasnoyarsk so firstly I went there. It was so amazing; we were 100 people from the whole world. There were people from Indonesia, Africa, South America, Australia, and people from the ex-USSR too. It was very good for me because I discovered people from Moldavia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and I never spoke to people from these countries before. My roommate was from Croatia and this was very nice.
On October 20 we had our flight to Krasnoyarsk, the heart of Siberia. We arrived there in the morning, there were people who were dancing and seeing to say us welcome. After sharing the welcome bread called “karavai” and put our stuff in the hotel we directly went on a tourist tour. It was 3 intense days, everyday we saw new things, meet new people, it was just amazing. We even didn’t have the time to sleep, because we wanted to enjoy the whole time of our trip.
We saw ‘Stolby Nature Sanctuary, some people saw the snow for the first time and it was very emotional, the construction and the project for the Universiade in Krasnoyarsk in 2019, Divnogorsk, Taiga, the Yenisei river, the place you can see on a 10 Rubles bill. It was so beautiful, and we saw another side of Russia.
It was cold in Krasnoyarsk, but it was warm in our hearts to see all of this. We had the opening ceremony in Krasnoyarsk with traditional dances, songs, and Krasnoyarsk public.
Unfortunately all good things come to an end, so we had to taketo fly to Sochi. It was the end of one great adventure, and the beginning of the next one.
When we arrive to Sochi, it was warmer than in Siberia. Firstly it was strange, because there were so many people, but it was nice because we were all “the youth of today”, so we could just sit down and meet new people. They were a lot of conferences, they we watched the film “Gogol” and met with its producer.
I visited Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort and all Sochi Olympic Park, and we’ve got ticket to go to the Sochi amusement Park. I had the chance to assist at the closing ceremony and I’ve never have been in such a big arena. It was just amazing!
On October 29 it was very sad to take the plane to go back to Moscow, to say goodbye to all the new friends from Krasnoyarsk (and from Sochi), I had some tears. But we met with some of them the same evening in Moscow and on the others days too. We still keep in touch, so I can say new true friendship has begun.
So the main point of my WFYS experience was to know new people, from new countries, with different cultures and the WFYS gave me the opportunity to visit Siberia. Thank you for this amazing and great week!