International youth exchanges: a sociological analysis


2020, Vol. 4. № 3 (13)

International youth exchanges: a sociological analysis

For citation: Maltseva A. V., Kasatkin D. M., Temnyi I. I. 2020. “International youth exchanges: a sociological analysis”. Siberian Socium, vol. 4, no. 3 (13), pp. 82-93. DOI: 10.21684/2587-8484-2020-4-3-82-93

About the authors:

Anna V. Maltseva, Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Associate Professor, Department of Social Analysis and Mathematical Methods on Sociology, Saint Petersburg State University (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation); eLibrary AuthorID, ORCID, Web of Science ResearcherID, Scopus AuthorID, Google

Dmitrii M. Kasatkin, Master Student, Saint Petersburg State University (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation); ORCID: 0000-0001-8118-2982; WоS ResearcherID: AAT-6864-2020;

Igor I. Temnyi, Assistant, Department of Youth Sociology and Youth Policy, Saint Petersburg State University (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation); ORCID: 0000-0003-4260-8535; WoS Researcher ID: G-3148-2015;


International youth exchanges are one of the most relevant forms of international youth cooperation and an important aspect of state youth policy. This article attempts to draw public attention to the subjective aspect of youth exchanges by pointing out specific demands and requirements of modern generation students, who act as the main consumer of international youth programs. The Russian-speaking academic community generally lacks research on international youth exchanges and, specifically, on the youth’s demand for such exchanges. This article aims to characterize the current situation and to determine how the demand for international youth exchanges will develop in the longer term. This study also answers the question of who and why needs youth exchanges, and how to ensure that international programs are in demand. Finally, the study correlates opportunities for exchange development offered by the state with the youth’s demand for such exchanges, and examines the impact that exchanges have on young people. This work focuses on youth exchanges as a part of Russian state youth policy and on its youth cooperation with other countries. The emphasis is placed on students of St. Petersburg, one of the centres of international youth exchanges in Russia. The data was collected in January 2020 via an online survey in the social networks VKontakte and Facebook, as well as WhatsApp and Telegram messengers. It included 424 respondents aged 18 to 25. The study has revealed what students expect from and how prepared they are for international exchanges, as well as what possible risks and motivations are related to such exchanges. The obtained data has been correlated with the opportunities offered by the state. Based on the results of the study, a number of recommendations have been made. They can be useful for legislative and executive authorities, who are responsible for the legislation on exchanges, and for both for- and non-profit organizations, directly involved in organizing certain exchange programs.


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