'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
Members of HSE’s Extreme Sports Club again reached the top of Russia and Europe’s highest peak on Mount Elbrus in August of this year. All participants in this ascent received the title of ‘Alpinist of Russia’. Below we present a diary of their trip, covering such topics as a thunderous snowstorm during their ascent, eating lunch at Yury Vizbor’s favorite café and much more.
For many foreigners, Russia is still considered a region of extreme tourism. HSE graduates Anastasia Efimova and Alexei Chichvarin opened up the Brick Design Hotel on Myasnitskaya Street not only as a business, but also as a project aimed at changing the stereotypes that tourists have about Russia. In the latest edition of Success Builder, Anastasia and Alexei talk about how easy it was for them to start a business after graduating from HSE, what is complicated about reconstructing a historic landmark, why foreigners like farm products for breakfast, and how to benefit during times of crisis.
The first ‘I Like Trip’ festival was held at HSE Media courtyard, 2/8 Khitrovsky Pereulok. During the day, visitors had the chance to sample national dishes cooked by HSE students from all over the world, learn folk dances (and other kinds of dance), find the job of your dreams in tourism at the careers fair, and get some inspiration from open yoga classes. You could also choose how to spend this summer with the student travel club ‘I Like Trip’ or HSE Tourism Club.
In July, students from the HSE Extreme Sports Club planted the university’s flag at the top of Mount Elbrus, one of the world’s highest peaks. Garry Rutberg, one of the club’s leaders, and Alexandra Oleinikova, an HSE alumna and the club’s guide, tell us about the complicated nature of the mountain, ways of fighting hypoxia, and what it’s like to walk amongst the clouds.
The international graduate student conference organized by the Master's Programme in Experience Economy, ‘Sustainable Tourism Development in the Changing World’ which took place from February 5-6 at HSE St. Petersburg, was a forum for the discussion of new approaches in researching the tourism and hospitality industries for young researchers from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Arkhangelsk, Petrozavodsk, and South Korea.
Professor Valery Gordin, Head of the Faculty of Economics and Management at HSE St Petersburg, presents the Master’s Programme The Experience Economy; Hospitality and Tourism Management. He is academic supervisor of the course which comes under the Events Management and Cultural Tourism field of study at HSE St Petersburg. Teaching is in Russian and English.
Dr. Spring H. Han, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Management, has been at the Higher School of Economics since 2012. Her current research interests focus on the hotel industry. She recently spoke with the HSE news service about her teaching and research, as well as the students she advises in a new programme called ‘Experience Economy: Hospitality and Tourism Management.’