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Regular version of the site

Spend a Semester in Moscow

Applications are being accepted until October 30 for the Semester in Moscow programme, which allows international students to spend either a semester or a full academic year at HSE. The programme is open to all international students who wish to apply to study at HSE on a fee-paying basis.

Semester in Moscow offers a wide range of courses in 11 subjects ranging from Economics and Mathematics to Media Studies and Law. At the moment one undergraduate and 17 graduate programmes at HSE are taught entirely in English, and students can choose any of the courses in these programmes. In addition, there is a large number of English-taught courses in most Russian-taught programmes, which expands the range of options for international students. According to Semester in Moscow supervisor Oksana Chernenko, ‘undergraduate students can benefit the most from the programme, as this study-abroad experience allows them to enrich their curriculum, take Russian language classes and perhaps choose a further course of study in HSE’s Russian and English-taught Master’s programmes. In addition, students who arrive for the Spring 2016 semester will have the opportunity to stay in Moscow after the end of the semester for HSE’s Summer University, which will open on June 20, 2016’.

Within Semester of Moscow, all levels of Russian language training are available to students. Furthermore, students have the ability to enrol in HSE’s Russian-taught courses if their knowledge of Russian is at the required level. Russian-taught courses are especially popular among heritage speakers of Russian or international students looking to improve their language skills through real lectures and seminars.

The programme places students in the centre of Moscow and gives them the opportunity to explore the city with the help of HSE student buddies who frequently organize a number of informal events. Many international students travel extensively during their time in Russia, learning not only the capital but other cities as well.

Students are able to create their own curriculum by choosing courses from the HSE course catalogue. Academic credits earned during Semester in Moscow can be transferred to students’ home institutions. Up to 30 ETCS can be earned during one semester. Programme advisors help students put together a customized curriculum based on their own interests and goals, which makes it is possible to focus on one area of study or combine courses from different fields. The only limitations are possible scheduling conflicts and course prerequisites. At the beginning of each semester a special orientation session is held for all newcomers to help them adjust to life in Moscow and to studying at HSE.

Students enrolled at HSE partner universities can be nominated to study tuition-free for 2016 Autumn semester – nominations and applications will be accepted in the spring. Certain courses, however, will only be available to exchange students on a fee-paying basis.

Several students who have just arrived in Moscow to spend the autumn semester at HSE share their reasons for coming to Russia:

Carl-Bodo Zulch, Frankfurt University, Germany

I am studying Business Administration and am spending two management semesters abroad. This is my first Bachelor’s semester and my second semester abroad (my first study-abroad experience was in Turkey). We are free to choose from at least 60 partner universities all around the world. I looked at the list and thought that Russia might be interesting – it was a gut feeling. I talked to a guy from my university who has been to HSE before, and he told me a lot of cool stories about this university, about Moscow, and about Russia. He said that I would not regret going there. I am into Asian or eastern culture, so instead of going to the US or Australia, which are far away from our country but may be quite similar to Germany in terms of mentality, I wanted to try something new. Another reason for me to come here was the current political situation that is tense between the countries. I think there is always a difference between official politics and ordinary people.  This is true about other countries I’ve been to. So far all the Russians I’ve met are very friendly. I didn’t expect so many Russians to speak English – in Moscow a lot of people have very good English.

I’ve chosen a variety of courses to take – on mergers and acquisitions, as well as on international trade, data analysis and risk management.

I’m staying at the dorm, which is very nice. I expected to be one of very few exchange students here, so I was really surprised to see so many of us, especially German students. We have a big international community at the dorm – Germans, Dutch, Italians. This is a great opportunity to meet other people from different countries. I have some travel plans, one of which is to take the Trans-Siberian railway to Vladivostok. This is one of my must-have trips, but I may also go to St. Petersburg.

Alena Blinova, Vienna University of Economics, Austria

I’m studying Marketing and am here for a semester on an exchange programme. People are always asking me why I have come here in particular; after all, I was born in St Petersburg. I want to take several specialized courses in several different faculties. I’m required to take a course in business, but everything else is up to me - I could take business IT and something on integrated communications. I want to do it all at once. I have a huge wish list and big plans. I’m in the second year of my Master’s programme, so it’s my last chance to take the courses I think will be interesting and useful for my future. I’ve had a bit of work experience and I realize that there are several areas where I want to improve my knowledge in detail. I also want to meet new people, join student organizations and get involved in student life at HSE.

Bruno Haertli, University of Applied Sciences in Business, Switzerland

I read about HSE, and saw that they have a very good image worldwide. I wanted to do a semester abroad, and after an internet search HSE was clearly my number one choice, especially because I was interested to learn more about Russian Culture. My family were very glad for me to visit Russia but they said I should be careful in such a big city like Moscow. I am from Switzerland which is a very small country by contrast and studying in Moscow is quite hard in the way of distances. In my home university everything is in one place, and my journey to uni takes maybe 15 minutes on foot. It took me a while to adjust. I was destroyed in the first weeks, from so much travelling every day. I live in Kuzminki, and every Wednesday I have classes in the morning in Strogino, than classes in Semyonovskaya and than in the evening I have to do a presentation with my group in V.D.N.Ha and go back to Kuzminki ( it’s as if I travel around the whole of Switzerland in one day and also study while I’m travelling!!!). But now I’m accustomed to these distances.

In terms of studying a lot of things are different, we don’t have these kinds of seminars in Switzerland. But I like it and some professors are really good. The lessons are much more longer here. In Switzerland we had 45 minutes and then a break. Here classes go on for an hour and a half. So I’ve had to adapt to many different ways of doing things, but it’s a good experience. My goals are to pass all my exams, and to visit many places in and near Moscow during my stay. Moscow is just amazing! So many beautiful places around the whole city! 


Prepared by Maria Besova, HSE English language website

 

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