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In April Infopulse Ukraine invited and welcomed in its Kiev office a group of Norwegian students from Nansen Academy. Details of the friendly visit are described by its participants.
Academy of Humanism
Norwegian guests got to Infopulse Ukraine not by chance but for a reason. The primary reason was the close ties that unite the company with Norway, the home country for one of the biggest Nordic IT companies EDB ErgoGroup that is a mother company of Infopulse Ukraine. Another reason was the fact that they were from Nansen Academy or Nansenskolen – a unique institution that for many years has received students from countries that previously were part of the Soviet Union. Anatoly Kyrylyuk from Infopulse Help Desk Department and former Nansenskolen student tells more about the connection.
‘Many people know the name of Fridtjof Nansen as the conqueror of the North but not everyone knows about humanitarian activities of this amazing man who was the first High Commissioner for Refugees in the League of Nations since 1921 and did a lot for the refugees that flooded Europe after the First World War. At one time there were even so-called Nansen passports recognized as an official document and allowing refugees legally move between countries. Those who are interested in the history of Ukraine also know Nansen as a man who saved many people during the Famine. At a time when the West refused to help the Soviet Union — and the latter refused to accept any help from outside — Nansen made Herculean efforts to deliver real humanitarian aid to the starving.
Today the Academy named in honor of Nansen who was recognized as the Norwegian of the Millennium continues the traditions of humanism and idealism laid by the great man. Its students study the humanities, and the largest faculty called ‘Idea-Culture-Society’ gathers those who care about fates and problems of all humanity. Also a significant part of the curriculum is traditionally devoted to studying the Russian language and literature. And traditionally the students visit Russia to get acquainted with Russian culture in the immediate surroundings. But this year Infopulse employees Anatoly Kyrylyuk and Sofia Kapustin, both graduates of Nansenskolen, offered the academy students to stop in Ukraine on their way to Moscow — and see the home country of Gogol and Bulgakov whose works they study.
Help from Ukraine
The 3-day tour of the guests from Nansenskolen to Ukraine was a success — they liked Kiev so much that some of them are going to pay their second visit to Ukrainian capital already in May. And visiting Infopulse Ukraine impressed them not less than their tour to Bulgakov’s museum.
‘When I first told my former professors about my work place they were very surprised’, says Infopulse employee and Nansenskolen graduate Anatoly Kyrylyuk who admits that studying at the institution was the best and most memorable experience in his student’s life that led him to decision to go on working with Scandinavians. ‘It was a pleasure to reveal to the guests that for the last 4 years we have been successfully providing services of IT administration and software development for the largest companies in Scandinavia within the framework of our collaboration with EDB ErgoGroup. They were surprised to find out how many of our employees learn the Norwegian language and use it in their work. Also it was interesting for them to learn that our company provides Help Desk services not only in English and German but also in Swedish’.
Aside from seeing the office during their visit to Infopulse 17 Norwegian guests — students and teachers of Nansenskolen — had an opportunity to learn new and interesting information about Ukraine and its culture. Igor Starepravo, Infopulse IT Operation Services Department Director, made them a special presentation on the topic. In his speech he stressed the fact that today’s Ukraine and Infopulse in particular focus on European standards of culture and business.
Anatoly Kyrylyuk and Sophia Kapustinа had something to say, too. They spoke to the guests about cultural trainings on the differences and similarities of Ukrainians and Scandinavians that were held in Infopulse. Full of colorful examples and funny stories their speech was especially exciting.
At the end Infopulse gave the guests a traditional Ukrainian dinner. Despite the fact that typical Norwegian kitchen differs from Ukrainian one the visitors enjoyed new meals.
Impressions of the Visit
In addition to Infopulse Ukraine during their tour the Norwegians visited Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and Museum of Chernobyl and got acquainted with Kiev architecture and other sights.
Even though the spring weather was unpredictable we were fascinated by the Ukrainian capital
‘We especially liked the churches, a cave monastery, a market, our walk through Andrew Descent, the architecture of Opera and Ballet Theater’.Their visit to Infopulse impressed the guests and finally convinced them that today’s Ukraine is not just a splinter of the former USSR but a strong modern state that moves forward.
‘The fact that two former Nansenskolen students work in Infopulse was our luck — they invited us here and helped us arrange this tour’, say Helene Strand Johansen. ‘In Infopulse Ukraine we heard the most complete story about the country and the cultural similarities and differences between our peoples, as well as very interesting information about how Ukrainians and Norwegians interact in their work. Also they gave us nice souvenirs, organized a delicious lunch and a tour of the Museum of Chernobyl. We are very grateful to Infopulse and its management and staff for the opportunity to look at the life of a Ukrainian company from the inside and for our fascinating dialogue’.
‘For us the conversation with the guests from Norway was very interesting and useful, too’, says Igor Starepravo. ‘Our company is focused on the external market, and that is why we are open to any communication and interested not only in business but also cultures of the other countries. We try to develop various contacts and, of course, we are always happy to welcome guests’.