A free English-speaking club located in Chelyabinsk, Russia


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Debates: This House Believes that the Traditional University Will Be Replaced by Online Learning

In a relatively short period of time MOOCs such as Coursera or Udemy grew in massive popularity and are serving thousands and millions of users. Some online courses have even been recommended for university credit. This prompted to question whether traditional universities have to adapt themselves to the new realities of education and even whether they can be replaced. The question of how online courses could replace universities is open for debate as well.

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PhD in the US: from Application to Defence

I will share my story of obtaining a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Robotics Engineering from a US university.

It was a long way from starting my preparations in May 2010 to defending my dissertation in April 2017. I will try to cover various aspects of the process including the application submission, getting accustomed to a foreign country, graduate classes, working on a team, dealing with the advisor, reading and writing scienific papers, presenting at conferences, writing the dissertation, and, finally, defending it.

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Debates: This House would teach talented students separately from their peers

Some students are undeniably gifted and have talents others don't. Should we set up a stimulating environment for them to make the most of their abilities, or should we treat all students equally?

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Debate: English Exams at Russian Schools Should Be Obligatory

Every Russian kid has to pass Russian and Maths in order to finish school, and everyone believes it's alright. But these two clearly aren't enough to go on with education or provide a living, so the authorities are thinking about introducing English as an obligatory exam. Is this a good idea that will boost the graduates' level of English and open doors into a wealthy future for everyone, or is it rather unnecessary stress for teachers, students, and parents' pockets? Let's find out.

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Discusssion: Russian State Exam

The long-awaited discussion from our no-longer-a-schoolboy Danila. Is The Unified State Exam (ЕГЭ) good or evil? Does it reflect the students' real abilities and knowledge or rather offers a range of opportunities to cheat? Is it convenient for students, teachers, and universities? Is there any way for improvement or other options, or are they even worse? Let's discuss!

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Discussion: Sexual education for children

Where should children get to know sex? From their parents, friends, or the Internet? Or maybe school? Should they teach kids about sex, and if yes, what should this include? Let is discuss.

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Presentation: Studying abroad step by step

Daria Zima, exchange programs manager at SUSU, is going to tell us about her experience. You'll learn about the largest under- and postgraduate programs offered today, what they include, and how to apply for them, what to do and what not to do.

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Discussion: State Exams

Nearly every state education system in the world today uses some standardized testing or examination that gives the state an opportunity to evaluate the knowledge of its citizens as they leave educational instututions (e.g. schools), and the students to save time and effort applying to the next step of education. What benefits does it have and do they really overweigh the benefits provided by the merry old individual examination? Let us discuss and find out.

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Discussion: Writing Recommendation Letters

Anything can happen to you. Anything at all, even something you never expected to; just admit it.

And when there is a student coming up to you and asking you for a recommendation letter,you need to be prepared. Or eventually, when you are the student, but your teacher does not go to Speak Freely and was not prepared, you'll still need the letter. Let us see and discuss, how letters of recommendation are written, and never ever get caught unawares by the surprising and unpredictable stream of life.

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E-learning, or How I Took a Course on Coursera

Taking courses of Stanford, UCSF, Rice university and others in English right here, at home? Learning how to program, how to reason and argue, how to write academic papers in English for free? Getting access to unique studying material created by the professors of the best universities of US and Eurasia? Having your own works and assignments seen, evaluated and advised upon? Yes, please! Where do I get all these?

As a matter of fact, there are now a number of platforms for e-learning available througout the Internet. In my presentation, I will focus on one (and probably the best-known) of them, i.e. Coursera. In a nutshell, I will tell about my experience with this platform, how it works, show the inside of a course for you, put out strength and weaknesses of this type of learning (as seen by me) and finally demonstate the range of courses available on the platform so far.

I hope this presentation will be useful for everyone: to those who havent tried it yet, I suppose it'll give some kind of a guideline to start with; to those who have I was meaning to give some kind of advice on the productivity matters I found out for myself.