'It Was Nice to Experience the Charms of Student Life in Russia'
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.
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.
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 email@example.com, 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.
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.
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.
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.
On December 20, the students of the International Preparatory Year programme at HSE’s Moscow campus got together to usher in the New Year in true Russian style. They all first arrived in Moscow this September with zero or very limited knowledge of Russian. So, their programme started with an intensive course of Russian as a Foreign Language. Now, three months later, they have already mastered enough Russian to make mini-presentations, perform sketches, take part in a Russian culture quiz, and solve Russian riddles.
Having fallen in love with Moscow and the Russian culture during an exchange programme three years ago at HSE, Alis Maria Endres, a native of Germany, decided that she wanted to return to the university to complete a Master’s degree in management. In order to be able to study in Russian, Alis Maria first enrolled in HSE's International Preparatory Year programme.
On July 12, HSE officially congratulated the graduates of the 2018 Preparatory Year programme. The 10-month intensive course, which was introduced at HSE in 2015, is designed for international students with little or no knowledge of Russian who wish to undertake Russian-taught full-degree programmes. The curriculum focuses on basic language skills (reading, listening, speaking, and writing) and students are able to study in their chosen academic field (humanities, economics, or engineering). This year, young graduates from 40 different countries attended the ceremony, where they were congratulated by their teachers, friends and families.
On November 15, international student admissions for undergraduate and Master’s programmes opened. This year, prospective students can apply to two programmes simultaneously. They’ll be able to track the application process online in their personal profile on the HSE website where they will receive notifications on the stages of their application’s review and decisions by the admissions committee. The documents for visa invitation can also be submitted there.
‘Everyone Finds It Challenging in the Beginning, but I’ve Progressed a Lot, and Now I Can Speak Russian Very Well’
On July 21, 2017, the graduation ceremony for the Preparatory Year programme was held. During the ceremony, more than 170 students from 40 countries received their diplomas, which will enable them to continue their studies in Russia.
HSE’s Preparatory Year trains international students with little or no knowledge of Russian before they begin Russian-taught full-degree programs. Over 10 months of intensive study, students improve their language skills (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), study in a chosen academic field (humanities, economics, or engineering), and adapt to the new educational environment. Upon completing the Preparatory Year, students are expected to possess intermediate-level Russian language skills and be ready to enter Russian-taught full-degree programmes at HSE and other Russian universities.