Let's Learn to Speak Russian
A growing number of HSE University’s international students are actively learning Russian, even if their degree programme is taught entirely in English. To help them build fluency, the HSE University Preparatory Programme launched a Russian Speaking Club for its students in March 2021. Now, all HSE University's students, regardless of the programme they are in, can take part in the meetings.
Members of the Russian Speaking Club meet online to discuss interesting issues, practice the Russian language, learn new vocabulary and get the hang of spoken phrases. Meetings are held once a month in Russian, and are divided into groups for A1, A2 and B1 and above. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.
Zhanna Nikitushkina, Visiting Lecturer at the HSE School of Linguistics; host of the Russian Speaking Club
We focus on three goals. The first is to give international students the opportunity to practice Russian. The second is to give them more knowledge about Russian culture. The third is to help them find friends. Some of the club’s members can't come to Russia at the moment, but some of them are already here. When you come to a new country, it can be difficult to find friends at first. We hope that our speaking club can help.
We discuss various topics at the club: holidays, student life, love, women and men, humour, and travel. Other teachers also work with me at the club: Anastasia Zinchenko, Polina Veselova, Marina Mikhalchenko and Ekaterina Kornakova.
Students currently living in different countries take part in our speaking club. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage of online meetings. On the one hand, it’s an amazing experience when people from different parts of the world meet. On the other hand, different time zones can make it difficult to choose a time that suits everyone.
We welcome anyone who can join us, despite all the difficulties. You can join our club at any time
Vijin Rajan (India), Master’s in Applied Social Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences at HSE Moscow
Currently, I am in India and hoping to join offline classes in Moscow soon. I joined the club on 10th November and I see it as an opportunity to learn more Russian. I chose Russia for higher studies because of my interest in the Russian language and culture. So the most useful part of the club is that I am getting an opportunity to have conversations with native Russian speakers and other members of the club. So far, I’ve been to one meeting. I have tried out my basic Russian speaking skills, and this way of interacting seems really helpful as I’m not in Russia right now. I’m looking forward to learning and experiencing more.
I learned words and expressions such as ‘День народного единства’, ‘единство’, ‘встреча’, ‘численность населения,’ and more.
Ben Alexander (Scotland, United Kingdom), Master’s in Business and Politics in Modern Asia at HSE University Saint Petersburg
I am currently doing my exchange semester abroad at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey. I will hopefully be returning to Saint Petersburg next February.
The most useful part of the Russian speaking club was the chance to have a conversation in Russian—not just learning about Russian culture, but being able to articulate things from my own culture in Russian and listen to others do the same. So, for me, I really enjoyed the speaking and listening to others.
I joined the club on November 13th. In that session, we learned about Russian holidays and some facts about the country. I already knew these facts, but I was able to learn some new vocabulary, which I liked.
My plan for studying Russian in the future is to either take classes at HSE or find a private tutor, as I would like to further develop all aspects of my Russian language skills, especially listening and speaking.
This summer, the HSE University Russian Language Centre will offer intermediate and advanced Russian-language students an opportunity to learn and practice their skills while immersing themselves in Moscow life.
On February 1, a group of American students started their short-term on-campus study programme at HSE University. During three months, the students will take courses in post-Soviet Russian history, contemporary Russian domestic and foreign policy, social anthropology, and a practical course of Russian as a Foreign Language.
Leticia Ines and Alejandro Perna first met in a Russian lesson in Buenos Aires. Now, eight years later, they are studying together in HSE University’s Preparatory Year programme. They spoke to the News Service about how their love for Russian language and culture brought them together and led them to enrol at HSE University, what their classes are like, and where they see their careers going after they complete their studies in Moscow.
HSE University offers a wide range of online and in-person preparatory programmes for international students, including various Russian language courses for future Bachelor’s and Master’s students, intensive Maths training in Russian, and an English-taught course in Economics. Students come from all over the world, drawn to HSE by the strength of its international reputation and education quality. Several students of this year’s cohort have shared their impressions of the Prep Year programme.
Ljiljana Filipović, from Croatia, is currenttly studying in the Master in International Management programme at the HSE Graduate School of Business. This year she was also helping international students with Russian language in 'Russian speaking club' organized by International Prep Year programme. In her interview, Ljiljana Filipović shares her experience of the Prep Year programme and offers some useful tips for international students.
Since September of this academic year, the HSE International Prep Year (IPY) programme has offered a supplemental Russian language course for international students studying at HSE. It is designed for students who have successfully graduated from the preparatory programme and are now studying in undergraduate or graduate programmes at HSE on Russian government scholarships. The HSE News Service spoke with students about the course and learned how it is helping them in their studies at HSE.
‘Every Word and Grammatical Construction That I Learned in the Preparatory Year Is Very Useful for Me’
Though born in Ukraine, Roksana Ramirez has lived all her life in Bolivia. A native Spanish speaker, Roksana came to Russia with no knowledge of Russian. She is currently studying at the Graduate School of Business in a Russian-taught Master’s programme in HR Analytics. In an interview with HSE News Service, Roksana describes how HSE’s Prep Year programme helped her become proficient in Russian and how she is now mentoring current prep year students to help them adjust to university life.
In terms of format, this new academic year has been an unusual one for many HSE students. In HSE University’s International Preparatory Programmes (IPP), 90% of students from various countries will start their classes online. We talked with the IPP teachers and students about the structure and content of their courses, and the difficulties students face in mastering the Russian language and immersing themselves in Russian culture.
HSE University’s International Preparatory Programme has awarded diplomas to the class of 2020. International students completed their yearlong intensive studies that included a Russian language course and a variety of subject specific courses. The aim of the preparatory programme is to help international students get ready to enroll in Russian-taught full degree programmes at HSE and other Russian universities
The English Preparatory Programme in Economics is designed to prepare students for degree-level study in the field of Economics at the International College of Economics and Finance, as well as other HSE University schools. Alexander Deev, HSE Director of International Admissions, spoke with the HSE News Service about the admissions requirements and the study trajectories of the course.