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'My Heart Is in the Mountains'

'My Heart Is in the Mountains'

Elena Koleva was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and studies psychology at HSE. She not only masters the depths of psychology, but also actively participates in the HSE Extreme Sports Club. Elena says this club and its activities were one of the decisive factors in her choosing to study at HSE.

Today, Elena is an active member of and organizer at the HSE Extreme Sports Club. She said that, despite intensive studies and inevitable difficulties (for example, at the start of the academic year, the ‘Anatomy of the Central Nervous System’ was a subject that seemed like a mysterious foreign language to her), she is not the type of person who can forget about everything else except studying.

‘For me, participating in the student association is not just a hobby, it is a pleasure and a way of communicating with people. And, of course, this helps me develop certain interpersonal skills, which can’t be acquired at school or at university!’

For Elena, the club was a natural continuation of her previous travels and active approach to life. As a secondary school student in Sofia, she went on several expeditions to the Caucasus and the Urals. She stayed in touch with her Russian friends after the trips, and when the time came to choose a university, Elena knew that she wanted to study in Russia and travel across Russia.

‘I was impressed that HSE students conquered Elbrus’, Elena said, ‘I was surprised and pleased to see that a student club can organize such thrilling and challenging expeditions’.

When Elena first joined the club, she suggested organizing a trip to Bulgaria and a student ski camp in Pamporovo.

‘Mountain skiing has been my passion since early childhood’, Elena recalled, ‘In winter, even if I had only one day off a week, I never missed the chance to ski. And over the winter break I almost always went to Pamporovo, not just because the trails there are very varied, but also to enjoy the sunny weather and the resort’s beautiful nature. I am keen to share this beauty with my Russian friends. Of course, it wasn’t easy to organize a trip 2,000 km away from Moscow. But everyone who goes will enjoy great skiing, a good rest, the chance to explore local cuisine, listen to local music, and just enjoy the spirit of the Rhodope Mountains.’

Both experienced skiers and beginners will be able to join the trip to the Rhodope Mountains. The trails are equipped for various levels. They also have groups for those who are interested in learning snowboarding.

Elena’s immediate plans include preparing for her exams. She hasn’t yet decided what specialization she’ll choose, but she’s still got time. The main thing today is to study hard. The activities offered by the Extreme Sports Club are as effective as any special course at helping her develop her sense of responsibility, concentration, and a caring attitude to other people.

Prepared by Anna Chernyakhovskaya, for HSE News Service

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