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HSE Winter School: The Whole World in Miniature

From January 24 to February 4, HSE's Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs hosted an international winter school. Sixty students from across the globe (Korea, Japan, China, Germany, Italy, Poland, Egypt, Morocco, to name but a few) came together for 12 days and were plunged into the hustle and bustle of daily life in Russia. Each day HSE Asian Studies School activists – student buddies – helped the international students get to know Moscow, and familiarize themselves with Russian traditions and culture, while also getting an insight into English-language graduate studies at HSE.

In order to cram as much in as possible, to see and do as much as they could, the students all but forgot about sleeping or resting. In the mornings they had lectures and classes, and after lunch through until late evening they had excursions and trips around the city. During classes held by HSE teachers and students, Winter School participants had the opportunity to learn more about Russian culture and about how Russian as a foreign language is taught at HSE. Guest lecturer Umehara Katsuhiko, Professor at Akita International University and former Mayor of Sendai (in the Miyagi Prefecture), gave a series of talks to Winter School and interested HSE students about Japanese economics and geopolitics.

During the days they had in Moscow, HSE's guests managed to visit the Kremlin, Tretyakov Gallery, Pushkin Museum, Moscow Zoo and Moscow Planetarium, spent time in Vorobyevy Gory, saw some of the most impressive Moscow Metro stations, and bought souvenirs.

 I see before me a very active, interested, and positive audience that has come from all corners of the world. I am deeply impressed by their knowledge of English, and their overall erudition.

Mikhail Karpov 
Associate Professor at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

From January 30 to February 3, Winter School students were taken to the Pokrovskoe retreat outside Moscow. There the international students had an intensive lecture course in a series of disciplines: economics and management, politics and social sciences.  The students had an opportunity to get to know more about studying at HSE, and the content of Master's programmes. All lectures were given in English.

Winter School participants were visited by HSE's leading figures and respected professors, including Vice Rector Sergei Erofeev, Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs Sergey Karaganov, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences Andrei Melville, and Dean of the Faculty of Economics Oleg Zamulin.

'I see before me a very active, interested, and positive audience that has come from all corners of the world. I am deeply impressed by their knowledge of English, and their overall erudition,' said HSE Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs Associate Professor Mikhail Karpov.

The HSE Winter School aims to strengthen international student communication and partner relations with international institutions of higher education. A relatively new initiative, the Winter School is actively supported by the university. Timofey Bordachev, Professor at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs and Director of the Faculty's Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies noted 'I think the Winter School is a unique project. Here in Russia we rarely have the opportunity to see so many foreigners in one place at one time. I would say it is like seeing the whole world – in miniature.'

During the international Winter School, the Public Policy Department held interactive master-classes, analyzing different types of leadership, group work to identify global problems factoring in the perspectives and experience of countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. After the participants had formulated the most pressing problems, which ran into the dozens, they voted to select the five most pressing and most in need of the young analysts’ urgent attention.

 HSE's Winter School is a really great initiative. It gives you an excellent opportunity to see what life is really like in Russia. We all had brilliant buddies, who knew English and could help us out with any issues that arose. I would like to come back next year.

Sano Kotaro
Student, Shiga Tohoku University, Japan

HSE Winter School 2015 will certainly be remembered by the teachers, organizers and participants. For many students, it was their first opportunity to meet and interact with people from other countries. They were able to expand their horizons, learn more about other countries' cultures, and build strong ties with students from other universities.

Student-volunteers benefited from playing an active part in organizing the school, and took responsibility for students from China, Korea, Japan and Egypt. Over this fortnight, everyone had a chance to practice languages from the region they are studying, and found common goals and interests with their international counterparts – really bonding.  Some of the international students are seriously considering enrolling in an MA course at HSE.

'HSE's Winter School is a really great initiative. It gives you an excellent opportunity to see what life is really like in Russia. We all had brilliant buddies, who knew English and could help us out with any issues that arose. I would like to come back next year,' said Sano Kotaro, from Shiga Tohoku University, Japan.

'I am really glad that I took part in the Winter School. Everyone was so nice and kind to us – always ready and willing to help us out. Thank you HSE!' said Jung Seyong, Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Korea. 'I would like to thank the organizers and volunteers who were always nearby, willing to help us. I am very grateful to the professors and lecturers who gave the lectures, and told us about the MA courses and how HSE works. I will never forget the wonderful time I spent at Winter School. I sincerely hope that it won't be my last time in the capital, and that I'll enroll in HSE next year,' said Aiperi Zirekova, from Novosibirsk Federal University, Russia.





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