SGIA Students at Heart of WYF 2024

SGIA Students at Heart of WYF 2024

The World Youth Festival (WYF) has already ended, but it will always be remembered by its participants and, most importantly, by the students of the MGIMO School of government and international affairs (SGIA). Our students from Italy, Sweden, Egypt and Denmark had their own unique experience of attending the event, which took place during the last two weeks on the Russian federal territory «Sirius» near Sochi.

The World Festival closing ceremony, which was attended by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and other honoured guests and friends of the WYF, began with a video about a young girl from Italy, Irene Cecchini, who discovered the diversity, beauty and immensity of Russia. Irene has been a student of SGIA for 4 years, learning the complexities of the Russian language and the history of Russia and international relations within the walls of MGIMO. In the video dedicated to her, the introduction to which was voiced by theatre and cinema actor Konstantin Khabensky, she talks about her dream — to establish intercultural relations between Russia and Italy, which she has been telling about throughout her years of study at the university, including in interviews with the press services of our university. Irene herself was present at the closing ceremony of the Festival in the front rows — as a guest of honour of the WYF.

Another 4th year SGIA student, Olivia Ahlund, was no less lucky! Olivia came to Russia from Sweden, and she became a participant of the closed meeting of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin with foreign students in Russia. During the informal dialogue as part of the delegation, Olivia told the President how exciting her studies at one of the best Russian universities were. Although she had not previously considered Russia as a future place of residence or study, as she herself noted, after starting her studies at MGIMO she found herself in «her» place. Olivia has also been in the lens of MGIMO’s press services on numerous occasions, and this interview is a great example of her student activism.

Dozens of SGIA students participated not only in the official events of the Festival, but also in numerous working sections. One of such students was Karim Shaaban, who came to MGIMO to study from Egypt. Today he is a 3rd year undergraduate student at SGIA on the Government, International Politics and Law (GIPL) programme. Karim became the Head of the Egyptian Delegation to the WYF 2024, speaking at the panel session «Youth Audit of Russia-Africa Relations», where participants expressed their views on the impact of the Russia-Africa 2023 Interstate Forum on the development of interstate processes in the modern world.

But no event of the Festival would take place without the participation of a large and friendly team of WYF-volunteers, which, according to the results of long and complicated selection and training procedures, was joined by Vanessa Sevidova, a 4th year student of SGIA, who came from Denmark. As Vanessa herself noted, the Festival was an unforgettable experience for her, allowing her to meet a huge number of people from all over the world.

More than 20 SGIA students from Russia and 15 countries, lectors and staff of the School attended the World Youth Festival 2024 in different roles. The MGIMO School of government and international Affais is proud of its best students and invites everyone to take part in the SGIA Open Day on 11 April this year at 16:00 in person in Russian and at 17:30 online in English.

The MGIMO School of Government and International Affairs