HSE is the university which works not only for the student but also with the student
Shokhrukh Ashrafi, a student of the 2015-2017 MA talks about studying at the Higher School of Economics.
It was the year 2015 when I decided to continue my studies and go for Master’s degree. Back then I knew that studying abroad would definitely enrich me in many ways plus I was encouraged by my fellow mates to apply for scholarships to study abroad and at the same time make it affordable.
The directions to apply were chosen, those were China, Russia and Italy. Frankly speaking, I had no idea of why I chose European countries, including Russia but I had a concrete image of China as of a destination to study because I learnt the language and I had to now choose a target region or a country to study about. But since I was given a scholarship in a field of study that differed significantly both from what I wanted to study and what I have studied before I had to reject it. Even though it was the country I was thinking about to study in – I chose Russia and since then I had no regret.
In case of Russia it became Higher School of Economics, the Socioeconomic and political development of Modern Asia. What I liked about this programme was that it was taught in English, for the first and secondly, it was all about Asia and not as the Area studies in general but focused on East Asian region plus SEA - all I was passionate to learn about.
Although while living in Tajikistan I was pretty aware of the Russian peoples’ lifestyle and I definitely knew a lot about Russian politics and political culture since I studied in the branch of MSU back in Tajikistan, nevertheless it was exciting to live a life in Russia as a student and never boring to attend the classes.
I should mention, first of all, how teaching in MSU and HSE differs and those are pretty different universes. In HSE I was not imposed a certain opinion, by no means I imply that MSU does that but the teaching programmes or the syllabuses, in my view, differ in a way so to include many different aspects and views to be learnt (in HSE). I will never, probably, forget the professors, the teaching staff, and the academic and project managers of the programme – those were the kindest people, never denying a request and always trying to help a student in need.
I would say that HSE is one of the few universities that work not only for the student but also with the student. The latter are always encouraged to leave their feedback on the teaching process, to openly discuss the possible problems and the ways to eliminate them.
A life of a student is colorized by a wide range of events held by the university; the student associations will never let those came abroad feel abandoned as they provide myriad of possibilities to spend the holidays or even the weekends. The dorms may not make a student feel worried about the bills or facilities as everything is hilariously affordable and given in the most convenient way.
Furthermore I would say that studying in HSE is for sure – a rewarding experience, and the programme I chose became detrimental to me as it enriched me in many ways: I can state with no doubt that all I learnt back then is paying me off now. I was given the position of a programme assistant at one of the local UNDP projects back in Tajikistan, and as I want to continue my studies the knowledge I have gained while in HSE is now a tool that I can use in future.