Search for Opportunities Abroad Brings Indonesian Student to HSE
Juniar Laraswanda Umagapi, a native of Ternate in East Indonesia, is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Political Analysis and Public Policy at HSE. She originally discovered the programme on StudyPortals, and agreed to speak about her experience researching and applying to international universities.
‘I really like to meet new people, study their culture, religion, and behaviour, which are so different from my country, Indonesia’, Juniar said about her desire to seek out study abroad opportunities. ‘I want to be independent, and studying abroad teaches me how to be myself, how to live without depending on the others. And, of course, the system of education abroad is really good’.
After exploring several options, Juniar eventually selected Moscow in part because of the opportunities to work and do an internship. ‘I chose Russia because of its history, higher education system, and its people. I got an email from my campus saying that I had been selected through the Russian scholarship scheme for 2015. So I took it. I am not the kind of person who spends a lot of time thinking and deciding something; I believe in every decision I make’, she said.
Choosing a university
Juniar chose the university based on the subject itself. ‘I looked for Master’s programmes in Political Analysis and Public Policy. HSE proved to be one of the best universities in Russia and also in BRICS. The facilities are also very good – you can find everything here at HSE’, she said.
Apart from the quality of the university and the facilities, Juniar also cited the Russian people as one of the main reasons why she found HSE so attractive. ‘Russian people respect each other, they don't judge you based on your culture or religion’, she said. ‘As a Muslim woman, I found that Russian people really don't care where you come from; they are nice and friendly people. I really like all my classmates because we are all from different countries and backgrounds, so we also think differently. That's why it's really interesting to me’.
Juniar’s advice for friends in Indonesia who want to study abroad is to remember just one thing: the mind is important. ‘At HSE, we need someone unbreakable, because if they are not, they will give up in the end’, she said. ‘The study programme is different; they need people to be fast thinkers and decision-makers’.
She again emphasizes the need to respect other cultures. ‘No person is perfect, and we cannot say that our religion is the best religion in the world. We cannot think that our culture is better than theirs. Please respect each other and socialize with others so you will have many friends in other countries’.
Financing your studies
Juniar emphasized the low cost of study. ‘I am studying with a scholarship through the Russian government scheme (called a quota), so I am not paying any tuition fees. I also receive a monthly stipend. There are many scholarships from the Russian and Indonesian governments, so don’t forget to apply’.
For those who are self-financed, she recommended cooking in the dormitory to reduce expenses. ‘You can work here, but mostly they need people who can speak Russian, so before coming here, study basic Russian so you will not get lost like me’.