Ivan Antonov

Ivan Antonov presents his StipendienPatin, professor Ulla Johansen, with a present

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"These eight months in Germany it was not only research-work for me. I learned more about academic and scientific work in Germany and Europe as well. I had realized that I can use my new knowledge in my future career."

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Ivan Antonov is a Russian doctoral student who, thanks to the DAAD-Stiftung's Ulla-Johansen-Scholarship, was granted a fellowhip which allowed him to spend time researching in Germany.

In the following report he shares the cultural and academic experiences that defined his stay abroad:

I am grateful to the DAAD-Stiftung and Professor Ulla Johansen for a chance to do research in Germany. And I am very happy that Professor Otto Joachim Habeck was my supervisor during my work in Hamburg University.

My first days in Germany started with language courses in Marburg. For everyone from Russia this city is very interesting because in Marburg studied such famous personalities as Mikhail Lomonosov and Boris Pasternak. Language courses in such a picturesque and beautiful city as Marburg fruitfully affect the study of the language, as well as allow you to have a great time with students from almost all over the world. The language school also organized all kinds of cultural events and excursions.

At the end of the language courses, I went to Hamburg for the research work with Professor Joachim Otto Habeck at the Institute of Ethnology of the University of Hamburg. Thanks to my teachers and previous Johansen fellows Aital Yakovlev and Galina Belolyubskaya, I had been able to provide a plan of my research to Professor Habeck and he agreed to supervise my project. The focus of my work is the interaction of cultures in the territory of Yakutia, the issues of cross-cultural communications and multiculturalism. The scholarship allowed me to learn more about the methodology and scientific approaches of foreign researchers. Moreover, right here I began to pay attention to those aspects in my research that I had not paid due attention to before. Thanks to the scholarship I was able to feel all the charm of international academic work in a Hamburg University, as well as fall into the academic life of the Institute, participate in workshops and colloquiums.

One of the important things regarding my scholarship was a general scholarship holders meeting and a welcome seminars. In October 2018 I visited such a seminar in Bonn. It was very important for me that I met Frau Professor Johansen herself at scholarship holders meeting and we had a conversation about my research and life in Germany. For me it is an honor to be one of the Ulla Johansen scholarship holders, because Frau Professor Johansen herself made a very big influence in researching Yakut culture.

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Antonov Schreibtisch
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The scholarship holder meeting with some 300 attendants acutally took place at Hamburg. So I did not have to travel and still had the chance to meet other DAAD-scholarship holders from all around the world who were invited for a three day event. At this occasion I met Stefanie Lohmann, the head of the DAAD-Stiftung, and took the opportunity to show her my office and share some insight into my research work.  

I had also very nice moments in Germany not only in my research work but in my daily life. I met a lot of people from different countries, especially the already mentioned DAAD scholarship holders. They were professionals not only in humanities but in different scientific spheres and it was very nice that I had a chance to learn not only about German daily life and culture but also cultures of other countries and nations.

Hamburg has taken a special place in my heart. When I arrived in Hamburg I fell in love with this city because it truly is the “Freie Hansestadt Hamburg”. Hamburg has a very specific spirit and it is hard to explain, because you must visit this city and feel the atmosphere of it yourself. But mostly I love German people, because they are very polite, and they know how to be funny sometimes.

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Antonov Johansen fachlicher Austausch
Ivan Antonov uses the unique opportunity to engage in an academic exchange with his benefactor regarding their shared research interests
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Germans are very friendly, and I’ve gained such a positive impression of the country and people that I’d like to share this wonderful view of Germany with people back at home.

These eight months in Germany it was not only research-work for me. I learned more about academic and scientific work in Germany and Europe as well. I had realized that I can use my new knowledge in my future career. A few years ago I started my academic career and sometimes I had some thoughts like: “Just 10 years ago you were a schoolboy who just finished high school in Yakutsk and now you are here in Germany having taking this long journey from father’s’ home to discover a new big world”. Being a part of DAAD-Stiftung family for me it is kind of assessment of my work and academic level. But now I realize that it was just a beginning of my career.

I would like to express my heartfell thanks to Frau Johansen, the employees at the DAAD-Stiftung, my academic advisor Joachim Habeck and simply all people who supported me during my internship.

As of fall 2019. The English version is the original.