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.
For HSE Preparatory Year students, the Russian Speaking Club is a way to improve their language proficiency in a relaxed atmosphere. At this year’s first such event, they discussed online communications and social media. Michael Dzodzoe from Ghana and Leen Sabbagh from Syria shared their impressions with the HSE News Service.
HSE University and Rossotrudnichestvo Agree to Train Specialists in Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language
HSE University and Rossotrudnichestvo have signed an agreement to establish a Russian Language Centre at HSE University in St Petersburg. It will train teachers of Russian studies and future leaders of educational programmes and courses of Russian as a foreign language. The document was signed by HSE University Rector Nikita Anisimov and Head of Rossotrudnichestvo Yevgeny Primakov at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
The Glinka State Conservatory in Nizhny Novgorod has held a phonetics competition in Russian as a foreign language for Chinese students of the preparatory department. The spectators, jury members, and support team of the competition included HSE University-Nizhny Novgorod students of the Bachelor’s in Foreign Languages and Intercultural Business Communication, Academic Supervisor of the programme Marianna Korenkova, and Chinese language teacher Elena Ammosova. The Chinese students opened the event with performances of famous solo works in Russian.
On January 17, the HSE Film Institute held a master class for applicants and students of the university. The author and instructor of the class was Igor Skripko, theatre and film actor, curator and teacher of the Actor Intensive preparatory programme. Prospective students had the opportunity to find out how to apply to the Theatre and Film Actor specialist’s programme.
On December 23, students of the HSE Preparatory Year got together for a festive Russian speaking club. They expanded their vocabulary and cultural outlook by immersing themselves in Russian winter holiday traditions and even played the role of Ded Moroz—the Russian Santa.
The team of the HSE International Preparatory Year said goodbye to its students at a graduation party that took place at the HSE Cultural Centre. 197 students from 58 countries graduated from the programme this year. They learned Russian and profile subjects in Russian, which has helped over 100 of them to enrol in degree programmes at HSE University.
International students at HSE University acted in and shot a film-play in Russian as part of the ‘Russian through Drama’ course. The students spent a semester preparing the play, immersing themselves in the Russian language and cultural environment. The HSE News Service spoke with the instructors and students about their work on the play and their Russian studies.
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.