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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


See also:

‘In the Future, I Would Like to Become an HSE University Teacher’

Karina Kuzhanova, third-year student at the Faculty of Law, and Anna Yatsenko, second-year student at the Faculty of Economic Sciences, moved to Moscow from Kazakhstan to study at HSE University. They shared their impressions of studies and student life with the HSE News Service, as well as talking about some of the most inspirational things in the Russian capital.

In Pursuit of the ‘Russian Perspective’

Emilie Flamme is a third-year student at Amherst College (USA), where she is a double major in Architecture Studies and Russian. She just completed a semester at HSE Moscow, during which she took Russian language and content courses. HSE News Service caught up with Émilie to talk about her studies at HSE, her thesis, and her life in Moscow.

International Spring School on Human Rights Debates Issues of Religion, Identity and Freedom of Conscience

In May, the HSE Voronovo Learning Centre hosted the International Spring School on Human Rights, a five-day educational retreat organized jointly by the HSE Department of Public Policy, the University of Bologna and the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

HSE Becomes Member of Erasmus Student Network

HSE’s volunteer organisation, which is made up of student ‘buddies’ who help foreign students adapt to life in Russia, has become a part of the Erasmus Student Network.

Studying Software Engineering at HSE

The Master’s programme in System and Software Engineering aims to provide students an opportunity not only to acquire the knowledge and experience they need in their chosen profession, but also to help them generate a systemic view on bringing resolutions to the difficult professional challenges they are certain to face in the future. Academic Supervisor Dmitry Alexandrov talks about programme features and international students share their experience of living and studying in Moscow.

Dutch Student Investigates Languages of the Caucasus

Samira Verhees, a Ghent University alumna and doctoral student at the HSE School of Linguistics, spoke about her Caucasian studies.

Students Come from Far and Wide to Study Big Data Systems

The Master’s programme in Big Data Systems at the Higher School of Economics focuses on the value aspect of big data for large enterprises and the implementation of big data technology in enterprises. Two current students of the programme share their thoughts about what drew them to HSE to study big data, what they hope to gain from the programme and what advice they would give to prospective international students.

French Delegation Visits School of Business Informatics to Discuss Cooperation in Big Data Studies

In March 2016, the School of Business Informatics (Faculty of Business and Management) at HSE was visited by a delegation from France’s University of Évry; in late 2015, a student exchange agreement was signed between HSE and this university. The delegation brought 19 students from the Master’s programmes in the field of big data at the University of Évry to Moscow.

Spring School Provides Italian Students Intense Exposure to Russian Culture

‘Texts and Places: Introduction to Russian History, Language and Culture’ (I testi dei luoghi: introduzione alla storia, alla cultura e alla lingua russa), an international Spring School at HSE organized jointly by Julia Ivanova, leading research fellow at the Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities, and the University of Eastern Piedmont Amedeo Avogadro, took place from March 15 to 23.

American Student Does Mathematical Research at HSE

Nicholas Howell is a PhD student at University of Oregon. He came to HSE Faculty of Mathematics on the invitation of his research advisor Vadim Vologodsky to do research during two months. In his interview Nick talks about his time in Moscow.