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HSE University Teaches Languages As a System, an Instrument of Communication, And As a Reflection of Culture

HSE University Teaches Languages As a System, an Instrument of Communication, And As a Reflection of Culture

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The Bachelor’s programme in Foreign Languages and Intercultural Communications, offered by the HSE Faculty of Humanities, is popular not only with Russian and international applicants alike. The programme helps students develop a broad outlook, as well as their communicative and analytical skills. The curriculum focuses on language teaching, translation and interpreting, intercultural business communication, and text creation.

In an interview with HSE News Service, two international students talk about what attracted them to the programme and what they like about their studies, HSE University, and Moscow.

Robin Alibert, France, second-year student

Choosing HSE

I have been living in Moscow for almost 3 years. When I decided to come to Russia for my studies, I was immediately amazed by the impressive number of universities in Moscow. I had the option of enrolling in Moscow State University, but I heard about HSE through close friends who told me that it is a modern and international university.

I really made up my mind in favour of HSE when I found out that at HSE, foreign students whose native language is not Russian do not study in separate groups from Russian students. In addition, I could have the choice of my second foreign language which is not the case in many other Russian universities.

I really enjoy my degree programme because it offers a great variety of subjects and allows students to choose courses based on their specific interests

Studying at HSE

Apart from the practical courses in foreign languages, ​​which I appreciate a lot, I was very keen on studying linguistics and the history of Great Britain and the United States.

At present having part of my lessons in Russian does not bother me at all because it is a language that I like very much. However, I must admit I had some difficulties at the beginning of the first year because I was not used to taking courses in Russian on any subject other than the Russian language itself, but I am now quite comfortable with it.

I have been learning Russian for eight years, starting at high school in France taking the Russian option as a third foreign language. I liked the language straight away and decided to go and take a language course in Russia

To improve my level, I enrolled in the pre-university programme of Moscow State University where I acquired a good level of language allowing me to enroll in a Bachelor's degree at HSE.

For a year and a half now, I have had the opportunity to meet several very competent teachers. Among those who have helped and inspired me the most I would particularly like to mention Alina Budnikova (English language practice and United States history), Natalya Bagrintseva (history of Great Britain) and Olga Barashko (world cultural heritage).

Since November 2020 we have been studying completely online due to the pandemic. At first it was not easy to get used to this system but now it has become a normal routine. The winter exams were also conducted online, and there weren’t any problems.

Living in Moscow

Moscow is one of the cities that I enjoy the most in Russia. In my free time I really enjoy walking in the city's parks, especially Fili Park, which is my favourite. I am also a huge fan of all winter sports and never miss an opportunity to go ice-skating. When it is too cold to stay outside for long, I enjoy spending time with my friends in a downtown cafe and chatting over a cup of coffee. Moscow is a city that hosts a lot of exhibitions, and, since the recent reopening of museums, I visit them regularly.

Russian cuisine was something completely new to me when I came to Russia and I had a lot of stereotypes in my mind like the poor variety of dishes or the idea that the food in Russia was not very good. I realized that this was not the case at all. Russian cuisine is very rich, and I really appreciate it even if sometimes I miss some parts of French cuisine.

Future Plans

As for my near future, I plan to choose the ‘Teaching of Foreign Languages’ track next year. I am very interested in this field and would like to continue my studies at the Master’s level since I plan to become a teacher of French language in order to stay and work in Russia.

Park Jiseok, South Korea, third-year student

Choosing HSE

I have been living in Moscow since 2006. By the time I took the state examination, HSE was one of the most prestigous universities in the country. HSE takes a highly advanced, developed, and contemporary approach to education, adopting the latest pedagogical trends. So, my choice was beyond doubt.

Studying at HSE

My studies are going smoothly. Of course, I would be lying if I said that there haven’t been any hurdles, but these are obstacles that can be coped with if you put your mind to it.

I have been studying Russian since I was 5, but I professionally began to learn the language by the time I got into a Russian school. Before I enrolled in the Russian school, I studied in an International institution where I learnt English.

I have had several teachers who have motivated me during my university years, but the most influential of them all has to be Irina Tverdokhlebova, who was my ‘Practical Speech’ professor during my freshman year in HSE. Irina Petrovna didn't only teach me how to be more skillful in English but also to be more exceptional in all fields of my life.

Sadly, due to the pandemic, we have been doing our seminars online, but fortunately, we will be getting back to the standard class formats soon.

No matter how many times you take the exams, you might never get used to them, but as I always do, I succeeded in coping with every single exam

Living in Moscow

Moscow is one of the largest cities in Europe, so it is full of fascinating sites to visit. I haven’t had the chance to visit half of the attractive places Moscow has to offer. It’s extremely challenging to decide on one particular area due to my lack of experience. As a result, in my free time, I explore Moscow. As for the food, I rarely eat Russian cuisine, but every time I try it, I really enjoy it!

Future Plans

I am already in my 3rd year at HSE, so I have given countless thought to my future, but I have come to the decision that I won’t restrict myself in a particular area of work. 

The world is too full of exciting professions, so having to devote myself to only one area is unappealing

I would like to experience everything the world offers before settling down. I will continue exploring until I retire someday.

Svetlana Bogolepova, Academic Supervisor, 
Bachelor’s programme 'Foreign Languages and Intercultural Communication'

The idea that our Bachelor programme is only about languages is a misconception. It has languages, communication, and cultures at its heart. We teach languages as a system, an instrument of communication, and a reflection of culture. Research and project work are an integral part of the curriculum: students participate in research seminars, work on projects at different levels, and write research papers in English and in Russian. We make university education an experience for our students, as they immerse themselves in academic life by participating in language- and culture-related events, clubs, and conferences. Our graduates possess a working knowledge of two foreign languages, data analysis and research skills, soft skills, and the necessary hard skills pertinent to their areas of specialisation. They are welcomed by employers in various spheres.

We welcome international students as they bring their cultures with them and share their worldview with us. They make the academic environment truly multicultural and varied. International students demonstrate an interest in the 'Foreign Languages and Intercultural Communication' programme, because it gives them an opportunity to get a diversified education, study the majority of their subjects in English, and learn how language and communication work. To learn more about the programme, you can visit our web page and watch a programme presentation in English

HSE University welcomes applicants from all over the world and offers not only different levels of study, but also different formats in English and Russian, online and offline. International applicants can apply for Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in a separate admissions process for foreign applicants and receive scholarships with full or partial tuition fee coverage.

When applying to a Bachelor’s programme, including five English-taught programmes in Moscow, it is possible to submit international certificates you have received in English and mathematics, such as IELTS, TOEFL, A-Level and other international exams and they will be recognized by HSE University, so taking entrance exams in relevant subjects will not be required.

Undergraduate applicants can test their chances of admission now by taking mock tests. Master’s applicants also have the opportunity to get a preliminary assessment of their portfolio and communicate with their programme of choice online.

To learn more about HSE University, its admission process, or life in Moscow, please visit International Admissions website, or contact the Education & Training Advisory Centre. The staff are happy to advise applicants and their parents via e-mail at inter@hse.ru, by phone +7 (495) 531 00 59, or WhatsApp +7 (916) 311 85 21, as well as on social media in Russian and in English: Vkontakte, Facebook, Telegram and Instagram.

See also:

'I Dreamed of Studying at HSE University'

Maria Belousova, an applicant from Uzbekistan, will become a first-year student at HSE University in autumn 2021. She will study at the HSE University Moscow campus in the School of Foreign Languages. The  News Service asked Maria why she chose HSE University, why she was interested in her chosen educational programme and how difficult it was to apply for University remotely.

Foreign Languages That You Can Learn at HSE University

Improve your German, learn Chinese from scratch, or dive into business English – these are just some of the options offered by the HSE School of Foreign Languages’ Centre for Language and Methodology Training. HSE News Service talked to Tatyana Baranovskaya, Head of the Centre, and Ekaterina Kolesnikova, Head of the School of Foreign Languages, about their new programmes and the centre’s goals.

HSE Student Wins 2015 Labcitoyen French competition!

Tatiana Shakhova, a third-year student in HSE’s Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, has won the 2015 Labcitoyen competition. This year’s Labcitoyen competition was carried out by the Institut Français (Paris) and the Institut Français of Russia as part of preparation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP21, scheduled to take place in Paris in November and December 2015. The grand prize was a trip to Paris to attend the conference.