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Regular version of the site

‘I Am an Insider Who Can Help New Students in an Unfamiliar Country’

Azzahra Afidah Faizah

Azzahra Afidah Faizah
© Daniil Prokofyev/ HSE University

HSE University boasts a variety of student clubs and societies: sports clubs, charity organisations, cultural clubs, and many more. Azzahra Afidah Faizah, one of the founders of the HSE Indonesian Club, talks about its activities, objectives, and plans.

My name is Zahra. Since I was born, I have lived in Magelang, a small town in Indonesia. I enrolled at HSE University in 2020, but it was not until early 2022 that I came to Moscow. Because of the COVID-19 period, I studied remotely for a year and a half. I am 20 years old now and am a third-year student of the International Relations Programme at the HSE University Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs.

I am not the only student from Indonesia studying at HSE University. In fact, there are many more Indonesian students than it may seem at first. However, it was not possible to organise a club for a while, probably because of the students’ busy schedules. At the time of the club’s creation, the activity was slack, but now we are getting more and more involved in its development. The first club events were held at the end of 2022.

Indonesia is mostly a Muslim country, so there are a lot of Muslims among us. During Ramadan, some Indonesian students participated in a joint iftar (the meal eaten after sunset) organised by the Islamic community at HSE University. People of other nationalities were surprised by the fact that we did not have our own community yet, so we set about organising our own club. Currently, there are 15 students in our club with only 20 students being members last year.

The main objectives of our club are to support the Indonesian student community at HSE University, as well as to spread Indonesian culture.

Any Indonesian students studying at HSE University can join the club. The club is a private one.

For English-speaking students, HSE University offers sports clubs (football, basketball, volleyball), dancing clubs (such as HSE Dance), charity projects (Green HSE, HSE Outreach), language clubs (Russian as a Foreign Language, French, Chinese, Spanish, etc), as well as a variety of events and festivals open to the whole HSE community. More information about extracurricular life at the university is available on the HSE Extra website.

Some cultural clubs at the university include:

The meetings are not regular, but rather ad hoc. We primarily get together, cook traditional food, sing national songs and just have a good time in the company of our friends. When it is warm, we organise picnics.

This year, we plan to be actively engaged in the development of our club. We also plan to organise cooperation with Indonesian students throughout Moscow. We have already organised the Garuda Festival of Indonesian Culture on September 15, in cooperation with the RUDN University Student Community and the HSE Cultural Centre.

We have also participated in HSE Unity fest on October 8. We also cooperate with a Moscow organisation of Indonesian students called ‘Perhimpunan Mahasiswa Indonesia di Moskow’ (PerMos).

My chief responsibility is monitoring the activity of the club. The current main objectives are organising events and helping Indonesian students, with the latter being of prime importance. I am a kind of insider who can help new students in an unfamiliar country.

Yana Zakharova, leading public relations specialist at the HSE Cultural Centre

‘HSE has many cool activities for international students that can diversify your study routine. Participate in extracurricular life and join us!’

Those interested in joining the Indonesian club can contact Zahra on Telegram.

See also:

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