International Students Journey to Russia
HSE’s annual Summer School on Russian Language and Culture is currently in full swing. This year’s participants include Austrian and French students from HSE Nizhny Novgorod’s partner universities.
The students share their impressions of the Summer School:
Knotek Vojtech (Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria):
The Summer School at HSE is an excellent opportunity to learn Russian and get to know Russia. I have never been to the country, which is why I chose a programme that gives me the chance to live with a real Russian family. I have been able to get a sense of the famous Russian hospitality and get acquainted with Russian culture. I like all of the subjects we’re studying here, too, but I’m particularly fond of the intercultural communication course we have because it helps me understand Russian thinking. On the one hand, it’s similar to Western thought, but on the other, it’s completely opposite. Our Russian lessons are also great. The teachers are always patient and ready to help. I feel like my Russian gets better every week. I’ll most certainly be recommending this school to other students!
Palic Jasmina (Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria):
I’ve been to Russia before on a semester-long exchange programme before, so the Summer School is an excellent opportunity for me to come back again. This programme gives you the unique chance to get to know Russian culture and improve your language skills at the same time. And living in a Russian family is such an incredible experience. Russian people are so hospitable and take such good care of you! I really like this aspect. But they do sometimes worry too much. I feel like a little child sometimes, but this is fine. There’s only one thing you have to get used to – Russian transport and street traffic! It’s awful! Russia is a country of contrasts, and certain aspects are totally contradictory. But I’ve still fallen in love with the country and feel like I’ll come back many times in the future!
HSE students take active participation in developing the School. Together with international students, HSE students visit Nizhny Novgorod’s sites as a large international group. Foreign students have the opportunity to practice their Russian, and our students – English, German, and French. This is the first step towards creating an International Student Club at HSE Nizhny Novgorod that will come into existence in as early as September 2015.
Anastasia Dubrovskaya, a student in the Faculty of Law and one of the most active undergraduates, shares her impressions from talking to the group:
I’m really happy our university has such a large number of international connections. Each time foreign students come here, you learn a lot of new and surprising things. In order to meet our guests properly, I always try to read about their traditions and customs, and if I don’t know their language, then I always learn key phrases that make our communication warmer and more trustworthy. You’ll agree that it’s wonderful hearing your native language in a foreign country! The Austrian and French students just arrived here. We’ve already visited a lot of sites together, such as the Kremlin, Schelkovsky Village, the OJSC GAZ museum, and that’s just the beginning!
They’re studying Russian, and they demonstrate all of their successes on a daily basis. They spend three weeks in Nizhny Novgorod, and I hope upon returning home they continue mastering their skills. I wish them every success in their brave undertaking!