Prepare for a Degree in Russian at HSE
HSE’s Preparatory Year at the Faculty of Pre-University Training equips students who have little or no knowledge of Russian language with the necessary skills to enter Russian-taught Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes. Students begin by studying Russian language and then go on to study specific subjects in Russian-taught classes. They receive conditional acceptance to HSE full-degree programmes.
Zerozaki Laforet spoke to the HSE English News Service about his experience of the programme.
— I am from Indonesia, but my father works as a diplomat in the embassy. That means that with my family we travel to different countries and live there for four years and then go back home for three years. We have been to Mexico, Canada and now Russia. It seems that my father has only one year left here so, later on, I either have to stay here in a dorm until I finish my degree, or see if I can transfer my major when we go back to Indonesia. I decided to stay longer than planned so I can continue my Russian studies.
— What is your impression of the programme?
— They chose some good textbooks that correspond to the right level for the student to study, and the class doesn't get bored when the teacher tells us a story. But sometimes they like to repeat the same easy grammar a little bit too often so the pace becomes slow. Also the time management could have been worked on because the appointed time can't be changed but sometimes the teachers change it.
— Why did you decide to choose it?
— I was initially taking a break from my former university for a year, but then as time passed I really wanted to learn Russian in the long run.
— Did the course meet your expectations?
— What has been the most challenging thing in your studies?
— Knowing which words to use and what to talk about.
— What's next? If you stay in Moscow, which faculty would you like to study in?
— I am considering taking management in creative arts in a different university.
— How do you feel in the streets in Moscow after the Russian course?
— Not much different from the streets in other cities. But at least I can help my parents a bit since they know very little Russian.
Since September of this academic year, the HSE International Prep Year (IPY) programme has offered a supplemental Russian language course for international students studying at HSE. It is designed for students who have successfully graduated from the preparatory programme and are now studying in undergraduate or graduate programmes at HSE on Russian government scholarships. The HSE News Service spoke with students about the course and learned how it is helping them in their studies at HSE.
‘Every Word and Grammatical Construction That I Learned in the Preparatory Year Is Very Useful for Me’
Though born in Ukraine, Roksana Ramirez has lived all her life in Bolivia. A native Spanish speaker, Roksana came to Russia with no knowledge of Russian. She is currently studying at the Graduate School of Business in a Russian-taught Master’s programme in HR Analytics. In an interview with HSE News Service, Roksana describes how HSE’s Prep Year programme helped her become proficient in Russian and how she is now mentoring current prep year students to help them adjust to university life.
Karla Sofía Torres Pesquera is an exchange student from ITAM, Mexico City. She is spending one semester at HSE University, from January to June. She has talked to HSE News Service about the courses she is taking this semester and also described her life at the HSE dorm.
The HSE Centre for International Preparatory Programmes is launching an intensive online course of Russian as a Foreign Language. The course will start on October 1, 2020 and will be part of a blended preparatory programme that aims to help international students gain proficiency in Russian so that they can enrol in Russian-taught undergraduate and graduate programmes. Registration for the course is already open.
Elena Aisakova teaches Russian to students of International Preparatory Programmes. Her five groups have all transitioned to distance learning. HSE News Service has asked Elena and HSE's international students what it’s like to study Russian online as well as what tips they have to help others learn effectively while being on ‘opposite sides’ of the computer screen.
HSE’s Preparatory Year Programme for international students includes not only intensive Russian language training but also subject specific courses. One such course is ‘Russian Literature’, which introduces international students to classic works by Russian writers such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov. In the course, students read and discuss select texts in the original Russian, which helps them gain a better understanding of the Russian culture and history.
Do you have some knowledge of Russian but want to hone your skills and speak like a ‘real Russian’? If so, faculty members and instructors of the HSE School of Linguistics have worked together to create a free online resource just for you. Как скажешь (‘If You Say So’), which will launch April 4, is a virtual textbook and workbook built around video clips that feature HSE faculty and students.
HSE Preparatory Year students not only learn Russian and get ready to enroll in Bachelor’s or Master’s programmes but also explore Russian culture and way of life, which includes trying the local cuisine, sightseeing, and interacting with Russian people. Three international Prep Year students have talked to HSE News Service about learning the language, getting used to living in Moscow, and joining in New Year celebrations in Russia.
On December 20, the students of the International Preparatory Year programme at HSE’s Moscow campus got together to usher in the New Year in true Russian style. They all first arrived in Moscow this September with zero or very limited knowledge of Russian. So, their programme started with an intensive course of Russian as a Foreign Language. Now, three months later, they have already mastered enough Russian to make mini-presentations, perform sketches, take part in a Russian culture quiz, and solve Russian riddles.
Dr Anna Whittington is currently a Research Fellow at The International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and Its Consequences through the end of August 2019. She recently spoke with the HSE News Service about her work on changes in Soviet-era language policy, her thoughts on life in Moscow and how the city has changed, and much more.