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Harvard Summer Program at TSU

The Harvard Summer Program has officially been launched at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU). The following persons attended the opening ceremony: Darejan Tvaltvadze, Acting Rector of TSU; Giorgi Sharvashidze, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Georgia; Courtney E Austrian, Public Affairs Officer at U.S. Embassy to Georgia; Marine Chitashvili, Director of Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation; Lika Glonti, Coordinator of the National Erasmus+ Office (NEO) Georgia; also the Director of Millennium Challenge Account Georgia; the Director of IREX Georgia; the Head of International Education Center; the Director of Levan Mikeladze Diplomatic Training Centre at the Georgian Foreign Ministry, TSU students and professors.

Photos taken by German photographer, Rudolf Schrader in 1960, 1977 and 2012 during his trip to Georgia have been exhibited in the foyer of the conference hall. The exposition involves unique photos taken by Schrader in Khevsureti. The photos are kept at the TSU Museum.

Acting Rector of TSU, Darejan Tvaltvadze said: “It is the first time that the oldest American university is implementing a project with TSU. The summer program will last for nine weeks. Professors and students from Harvard, as well as our professors will take part in the program, because Georgian culture, history, literature, film, and urban studies will be covered in topic modules. We have a huge desire to continue similar cooperation in future.”

“Students of the Harvard University will have an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the Georgian language, culture, as well as Russian culture, because there are a lot of future specialists in Slavic studies among them. This is an interesting format of cooperation. The recipient country will organize lectures, seminars and it means that the relationship between the Harvard University and the Tbilisi State University will further deepen,” Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Giorgi Sharvashidze said.

“My family is from Georgia. I am participating in the Harvard Summer Program in order to learn more about my culture and to learn the Russian language better,” says Caterina Rukhadze, student of the Harvard University.

Oksana Willis, the project coordinator, said: “We have brought 16 students for nine weeks to study various subjects. The Russian language, Georgian history and culture, film and urban studies are covered in topic modules. Students will get acquainted with Georgian artists. A cycle of lectures also involves Russian literature about the Caucasus. Students will familiarize themselves with Pushkin, Lermontov, Tolstoy, who have described Georgia in their works.”

Up to 20 students arrived in Georgia to participate in the Harvard Summer Program. Academic staff from the Tbilisi State University and the Harvard University will deliver lectures. Modules include Georgian history and politics, architecture and urban morphology, Georgian film, and Russian fictions of the Caucasus.

Besides educational activities, the program also involves a module on the historical and cultural background of Tbilisi and Georgia.

In frames of the cultural-cognitive module, students will be able to meet with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili; to listen to the lectures on Georgia’s foreign policy course and history of Georgian diplomacy at the Levan Mikeladze Diplomatic Training Centre; to visit the National Center of Manuscripts, the National Museum, the Money Museum, etc. The participants of the summer program will also participate in field works on several important archaeological sites.

The summer program will last for nine weeks, till August 13 and classes will be held at the TSU’s International School of Economics.