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My participation in the double degree program is a fate. To study at one of the European universities was my dream since high school. However, I understood that it would be complicated to make it real. One day when I was passing by one of HSE classrooms I heard S. V. Alexandrovsky answering a student's questions about the double degree program with the University of Tuscia.
Then there were the Italian language courses, the search for all kinds of information about the program. I asked the guys who had already studied there, looked at photos of Viterbo on Google Maps, and, of course, I was ready to the big changes that were to be experienced. But the most important thing was my unshakable confidence that this would be an incredible experience for a lifetime and would definitely be useful for both career development and personal development. Naturally, I could not imagine that I would build a career in Italy itself, after graduation.
The University of Tuscia, and the city of Viterbo itself, immediately impressed with its history. Education on master's programs in Italy is more classical in comparison with the Higher School of Economics, but it is no less valuable. Otherwise, there are not so many differences, during the semester it was necessary to participate in projects and attend lectures. So this format of studying for HSE students is familiar. In general, the attitude towards foreign students in Tuscia is extremely positive, the professors gave us the opportunity to take projects and some exams in English, and the students were happy to practice it with us in oral speech.
We should also point out the rich program of out-University activities for international students. Every week, themed parties were held, where students from different countries prepared their traditional dishes, and a program of excursions to the cities of Italy was organized for the entire semester. Sometimes it seemed to me that there were more activities for us than for the Italian students!
The defense of the thesis was easy due to presence of parents and friends. I did not have to write a separate thesis for an Italian university, since both the HSE and the University of Tuscia provide an opportunity to defend the work in English.
In my opinion the meaning of the double degree program and its main advantage is to get a real Italian diploma. It was this feature of the program that then allowed me to get a one-year residence permit for job search, and subsequently work under a simplified procedure, without passing an exam for knowledge of the Italian language and participating in a quota competition.
I would like to wish all the guys who want to participate in the program to make up their minds and live this unique experience. In my opinion, HSE students do not need to be afraid of anything at all, because the knowledge base and self-organization skills that you have acquired at your home university give you a significant advantage in any country, wherever you are.
If you have any questions about the program, I will be happy to answer them, write to me on Instagram @janesushkova. Good luck and look forward to seeing you in Italy!