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‘Exploring Moscow in Summer is an Adventure Like No Other’

‘Exploring Moscow in Summer is an Adventure Like No Other’

Photo courtesy of Ayomide Adedini

Ayomide Adedini, from Nigeria, is a second-year student of the Master's in Political Analysis and Public Policy. He is also the current Chair of the Council of the International Student Association (CISA) and Vice Chair of Dormitory 7. In his interview, Ayomide talks about broadening his horizons in HSE University’s student dorms and making the most of summer in Moscow.

Ayomide Adedini
Photo courtesy of Ayomide Adedini

Life in the Dormitory

I stay in Dorm 7. Life in the dormitory at HSE has truly been an extensive and immersive experience, allowing me to embrace cultural diversity on a whole new level. Interacting with people from various cultural backgrounds and languages has been a daily adventure, filled with intriguing conversations, shared experiences, and mutual learning.

Initially, adjusting to different ways of life and cultural norms might have seemed overwhelming, but it quickly became evident that the diversity within the dormitory was a source of strength and enrichment. Engaging with roommates from Tajikistan, Pakistan, and China, I realised that despite our differences, we all shared common hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Our interactions allowed us to challenge stereotypes, dispel misconceptions, and foster genuine friendships that transcended cultural boundaries.

Sharing meals, celebrating festivals, and engaging in cultural exchanges made every day a memorable experience, and it felt like a global community within the dormitory walls

Through these connections, I gained a profound appreciation for the uniqueness of each culture and an understanding that there are multiple ways to view and approach life.

Convenient Infrastructure

The infrastructural facilities in the dormitory played a significant role in enhancing our living experience. The gym offered a space to unwind and stay healthy, fostering a sense of well-being among residents. The well-equipped kitchens not only provided convenience but also served as a hub for cultural exchange during shared cooking sessions where we swapped traditional recipes and cooking techniques.

Photo courtesy of Ayomide Adedini

Moreover, reliable internet access became more than just a convenience—it became a lifeline for connecting with loved ones back home and accessing valuable resources for academic and personal growth.

Staying connected digitally allowed us to maintain ties with our families and friends across borders, providing comfort and support, especially during challenging times

International Community and Language Learning

Despite the diverse international community, there was a considerable presence of black students who also had the privilege of being part of the HSE community. The inclusive atmosphere within the dormitory made it easier for us to bond and find a sense of belonging, knowing that we were all on this journey together.

Language proved to be both a bridge and a barrier during my time in the dormitory. While most students and staff communicated effectively in English, there were moments when language differences posed challenges, especially when interacting with those who solely spoke Russian. However, I saw these challenges as opportunities to learn and adapt. I took the initiative to learn Russian phrases and expressions, which not only helped me in my day-to-day interactions but also demonstrated my respect and appreciation for the local culture.

Language translation tools like the Yandex translator allowed for smoother communication and encouraged patience and understanding between international students and Russian-speaking individuals

It was heartwarming to witness the effort put forth by fellow residents and staff to communicate effectively, fostering an environment of mutual respect and inclusivity.

My extensive experience in the HSE dormitory has been a transformative journey. Embracing cultural diversity has broadened my perspective on the world and instilled in me a deep sense of empathy and respect for different cultures. The friendships I have made and the knowledge I have gained from living with people from various backgrounds have enriched my life in ways I could have never imagined. I am grateful for the remarkable opportunities presented to me during my time in the dormitory, and I will cherish these memories forever.

Summer in the City

Life in Moscow during the summer was an enchanting and unforgettable experience, a true feast for the senses. As the winter chill melted away, a sense of liberation and excitement filled the air, making every moment feel like a celebration of life and exploration.

Photo courtesy of Ayomide Adedini

Having endured the cold and harsh winters, the warmth of the summer sun felt like a long-awaited embrace. The city's energy transformed, with people coming out of their winter cocoons to bask in the sunshine, filling the streets with laughter and enthusiasm. It was as if the city itself had awakened from its slumber, ready to show off its vibrant colours and cultural treasures.

The absence of deadlines, assignments, and presentations gave me the freedom to roam the city's hidden gems and grand landmarks at my own pace

Exploring Moscow during this time was an adventure like no other. There was no shortage of iconic sites to discover, but nothing compared to the magnificence of Red Square.

Moscow Old and New

Stepping onto Red Square was like entering a time capsule that transported me to a different era. The imposing walls of the Kremlin stood tall, guarding centuries of history. The GUM department store, a magnificent architectural masterpiece, enticed me with its elegant window displays and bustling shopping atmosphere.

As I meandered through the State Historical Museum, I felt a sense of pride and respect for the country's rich heritage. Lenin's Mausoleum is a place of deep historical significance. However, it was St Basil's Cathedral that was absolutely awesome. Each dome, adorned with intricate patterns and radiant colours, was like a unique petal of a majestic stone flower. It was almost as if the architects of the 16th century had woven a spellbinding tapestry of art and spirituality.

Photo courtesy of Ayomide Adedini

Beyond the historical wonders, my summer in Moscow also led me to discover the city's contemporary side. Visiting Capital Towers residential complex with my adventurous friends was an exhilarating experience. The modern skyscrapers seemed to reach for the sky, showcasing the city's relentless pursuit of progress and innovation.

Culture and Community

Moscow's summer was also a season of personal growth and cultural immersion. Determined to connect with the locals on a deeper level, I delved into learning the Russian language.

Conversations with friendly locals opened up new perspectives and insights into their way of life, making me feel like a true part of the Moscow community

Amidst all the exploration and language learning, I cherished the moments of leisure and camaraderie. Going on a picnic with my church community added a touch of serenity and joy to my summer adventure. Surrounded by lush greenery, we laughed, shared stories, and savoured delicious local delicacies under the warm sun.

As the summer days waned, I found myself reminiscing about the extraordinary experiences that made Moscow an exceptional destination. The city's allure was not just in its grand landmarks or bustling city life; it was the amalgamation of history, modernity, and warm-hearted people that made this journey truly captivating.

Moscow summer is definitely going to leave an indelible mark on my heart, and I know that I will carry these memories with me forever. Until the next summer in Moscow, I held onto the promise of new adventures, discoveries, and the enduring magic that only this magnificent city can offer.

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