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'It Was Nice to Experience the Charms of Student Life in Russia'

Ljiljana Filipović

Ljiljana Filipović
© Photo courtesy of Ljiljana Filipović

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.

HSE University offers a wide range of preparatory programmes for international students, including 6-month and year-long courses with intensive Russian language tuition and English preparatory programme in Economics. Applications are now accepted for the year-long course, which is available in two formats, both online and in-person (on Moscow campus). Applications for the intensive 6-month course and English preparatory course in Economics will open on August 1.

Ljiljana Filipović

Studying International relations, I became very interested in learning about Russia, its market and opportunities for Croatian companies.  As I want to become a diplomat in the Russian Federation and dedicate my career to Russia, knowledge of the Russian language is of great importance for my future.

The Russian embassy in Croatia recommended me HSE University as one of the best Russian universities. I was told that HSE, as one of the best universities in the world, would certainly be the best choice for my future career.

First Steps in Studying Russian

It was September 26, 2019. I remember that I came to Moscow alone with only one instruction paper given to me by my professor who had lived in Moscow before. I had to face a huge Russian subway and my cell phone got turned off because of the difference in the temperature. At that time, I knew very little Russian—barely enough to ask what I needed. I think the big obstacle was that most Russians do not speak English and it is very important to know Russian very well.

The preparatory programme was well organized. We could intensively and very quickly learn Russian and adapt to the new environment

Our professors were dedicated to teaching us in a friendly atmosphere. They were very accessible, kind and ready to help. The office for foreign students were always there for us to solve any obstacle or problem.  

Russia is a wonderful country with a rich culture and wonderful people, and the Red Square is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places in the world.  I had a great opportunity to meet students from all over the world, see other cultures and traditions and develop a network of acquaintances.

My native language is Croatian, which is a Slavic language, so I had no problems learning Russian, the preparatory year helped me to learn it quickly and understand it almost as my native language

Russian Speaking Club

This year I was helping foreign students learn Russian in the Russian Speaking Club that allows them to practice speaking the language. This project is particularly relevant in the current situation when many international students are not able to come to Russia.

The language is learned even faster when you have Russian friends, watch Russian television, read the newspapers, or go to the cinema to see a movie

When you live in Russia everything around you is in Russian, so you 'live in' that language. I think that Russian Speaking Club is a nice opportunity to get the experiences and advice that will make it easier for international students to live and study in Russia in the future.

Word of Advice

I find it the hardest to take that first step, to set out into the world on your own, but of course it gives you a chance to grow and strengthen your faith in yourself. Sometimes there were difficult moments because you might miss someone, or when you know you are far from your country. Also it is not always easy to live in a dormitory. However, such situations make you stronger and you learn from them.

And of course, you always have the support of the university, staff in the dormitory, your colleagues and roommates. Everything is possible if you believe in yourself! It was nice to experience the charms of student life in Russia.

Apply for HSE University Prep Year

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:

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Applications Open for HSE University Intensive Summer Language School 2022

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.

American Students Delve into Russian Language, Culture, and History

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'I Fell in Love with HSE University at First Sight'

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.

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.

What It Is Like to Be an HSE Student

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‘I Feel at Ease in Russian Class’

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.

International Students Explore Russian Literature in HSE’s Preparatory Year Programme

HSE’s Preparatory Year Programme for international students includes not only intensive Russian language training but also subject specific courses. One such course is ‘Russian Literature’, which introduces international students to classic works by Russian writers such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov. In the course, students read and discuss select texts in the original Russian, which helps them gain a better understanding of the Russian culture and history.

‘Coming Here Has Been a Very Good Opportunity for Me’

HSE Preparatory Year students not only learn Russian and get ready to enroll in Bachelor’s or Master’s programmes but also explore Russian culture and way of life, which includes trying the local cuisine, sightseeing, and interacting with Russian people. Three international Prep Year students have talked to HSE News Service about learning the language, getting used to living in Moscow, and joining in New Year celebrations in Russia.