While the first month of Spring 2017 semester is coming to an end, we decided to take a look back at the last event of the Fall semester - the Farewell Gala!
The Farewell Gala evening, which took place in one of the HSE halls on December 17, was planned as a semi-official meeting of our dear ‘graduate’ international students. The whole evening resembled the Oscar ceremony in many ways.
First of all, we asked our international students to choose formal outfits, and a lot of them surprised everyone with their classy tuxedos and dresses - we appreciated it a lot! The whole atmosphere, however, was still very cosy and homelike.
The second feature of our Oscar ceremony were various awards that marked the most outstanding achievements accomplished by both international students and members of the ESN team. Two weeks before the ceremony we created a Google Form where everyone was given a chance to come up with their own ideas of nominations and nominees.
Along with nominations that marked such important achievements as active participation in Social Erasmus Week, students also got awards for their less formal but still extraordinary achievements, such as the most adventurous non-ESN trip (the trip destination was the Kamchatka peninsula - the eastern end of Russia!), the best video about the exchange experience and the best sport achievement (running the 42km marathon in Moscow).
You might be wondering about the prizes by now! In addition to certificates, the winners also got matreshkas - traditional Russian dolls that are famous all over the world.
The ceremony ended with a mesmerizing music performance prepared by international students. The audience genuinely enjoyed watching their friends playing the guitar or the piano and singing cover and even self-written songs!
Finally, after the official end of the concert, everyone got presents from their Secret Santas.
We asked some of the participants to share their memories about the event, and we were extremely happy to get their sincere feedback:
Lorenzo Tosi, Italy, Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semester exchange student
"I am glad we had that evening to remember all the beautiful things we had done together and also the funniest moments. I agreed to play a few songs, and it was difficult to find time for rehearsals and play with other internationals involved in this, but we managed to do something good and it was really fun. I will carry these good feelings with me throught the rest of my experience in Moscow"
Harm Hulshof, the Netherlands, Fall 2016 semester exchange student
"For me the Farewell Gala was a bit special because I performed two songs with a couple of other students. What was best about the evening was the fact that it was something quite different from the other ESN activities. The music and the whole atmosphere really made me feel how for most of us the exchange period was drawing to an end and I honestly couldn't imagine a better last get-together than this one. I also really enjoyed the humorous award section of the evening"
Manami Kitano, Japan, Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semester exchange student
"I really enjoyed this event and I especially liked the music concert part and the Secret Santa activity organized by the ESN team. My interests that I wrote in a special form were Russian culture and fashion and I was very pleased to get two brooches shaped as a birch tree and a pomegranate. I hope we'll have this event at the end of my second exchange semester!"
The ESN team would like to thank all the participants of the event - nominees, musicians, and the audience - who turned the Farewell Gala into an unforgettable evening! We can't wait to find out what next months of this semester will bring us!
Authors: Kate Mazur and Anastasia Sazonova