Chat with Russia crosses seas

Paul Martin Eldridge/

A multicultural video conference on Oct. 25 between OCCC students and students from the Ulyanovsk State University located in Ulyanovsk, Russia, offered students at both schools a small window into the lives of their counterparts.

About 20 students and faculty from OCCC attended the conference, while about 10 Russian students made an appearance.

The video cameras for both classrooms were situated to show all of the students instead of focusing on one student individually.

It was clear to OCCC students that the Russian students were bashful about their ability to speak English. However, many of the Russian students answered with great clarity.

“How many of you guys work?” asked business student Kelly Stone.

After each Russian student giggled while handing off the microphone to another, one Russian student eventually responded to Stone’s question. “None of us,” the student said.

Russian students explained most of their parents pay for their college and the costs of school are much lower in Russia than the U.S.

Students participating in the video conference from each school were encouraged to ask questions regarding not only education but also everyday life.

OCCC student Seok Hwang asked, “Is Russia still a communist country?”

The professor from Ulyanovsk University replied said Russia is no longer a communist country and in his opinion communism ended in 1990s.

“Nevertheless, Russia does not have a capitalist structure like the United States,” the Russian professor said.

When asked how they learn English, a Russian student said they study English for three years before college, then go on to learn it at a university.

Though the conference started at 6:14 p.m. in Russia, it was an early 9:14 a.m. for the students in Oklahoma.

Stone, an officer in both Students In Free Enterprise and the business honor society Kappa Beta Delta at OCCC, reported this was the second year she had attended the multicultural video conference.

The video conference between both universities lasted for 46 minutes. The conference was cut short due to Ulyanovsk University closing for the evening.

Department Chair of International Business, Germain Pichop, closed by thanking the OCCC students who attended the conference.

“We hope we will have more students with us next year.”’

To contact James Krummel, email

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