Why HSE? A Vietnamese Student’s View
For Vietnamese students, studying abroad in Western countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, or Australia is a popular trend nowadays. Giang Dinh, a student at HSE’s Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, believes that receiving an education in Russia, particularly at HSE, is one of the best choices a student can make. He has talked to HSE News Service about reasons for his choice and his experience of studying at HSE.
Quality of education
The Higher School of Economics (HSE) is a young and ambitious university, founded just over 20 years ago, but now it is an influential research university in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Many subject areas at HSE are highly valued by the quality of training and research, such as Economics, Business, Management, Mathematics, Computer Science, Politics, Sociology, and Arts & Humanities. Currently, I am studying International Relations, which is ranked in Top 50-100 by the QS – World University Rankings this year.
All of professors and lecturers I’ve met are leading Russian scholars. They are very kind and understanding. They are always willing to answer questions, help any student who needs to do research, and share their opinions and life experiences with students; this in turn helps students achieve their goals.
Having studied with Russian students for years, I must say that most of them are very polite, friendly, and patient. They help me understand more about the subject of the lectures, which improves my knowledge of Russian language in that subject. We often discuss some interesting topics related to international affairs or just go out to have fun after class.
To promote their abilities and gain additional experience, every student needs some practical opportunities. HSE helps me address these issues. Aimed to help students be successful in their careers, HSE’s Career Development Centre organizes internships and arranges career fairs twice a year, which offers students the opportunity to attend presentations, seminars, and workshops, as well as learn about vacancies at its partner companies. These programmes helped me to take part in two internship opportunities during my first academic year.
Studying in both Russian and English
HSE is truly an international university, offering numerous English-taught programmes. My subject area – International Relations – is taught in both Russian and English. Some of my group mates do not have enough time to learn Russian, but this isn’t a problem, as they study in English.
Students who have difficulty with foreign languages can look for a language exchange partner through programmes like HSE Language Tandem, which is an interesting way to learn languages, make new friends and discover more about other cultures.
I have been living in Russia for 6 years, that is why I speak Russian well. I remember when I just arrived in Russia - I did not know anything about Russian language. That time was hard. I could not communicate with people. Besides, I was homesick and experienced cultural shock. Everything changed after a year of living in Russia and learning the language. Russian is a difficult language but very beautiful. I love it very much. The teachers of Russian are very kind. They are helpful and train students very well. That is why I learnt the language quickly and more easily. I love Russian literature. I have read books written by Chekhov, Lev Tolstoy, Maksim Gorky, etc. Of course, I must also mention great poems of Pushkin and Yesenin.
I am majoring in International Relations. I love it so much because I can learn more about history and culture of different nations around the world. Moreover, I can learn many languages, such as Russian, English and French. In the near future, I would like to study in a PhD programme and probably work abroad for some time - Russia will be my first choice. In 2012, our governments announced plans to boost our traditional relations into a comprehensive strategic partnership, which greatly inspires me. Russia seems Vietnam as one of the most important partners in Asia-Pacific and Vietnam needs more support from Russia. This fact is expected to deepen the relationships between two countries in all areas, especially in economic, political and military. I am doing research about this.
Comfortable dormitories and vibrant student life
There are ten student dormitories of HSE located throughout Moscow near different metro stations. I live in dormitory number 4 located near the Studencheskaya metro station. I share a room with one roommate. The dorm is very comfortable and well-equipped with shared kitchens, gyms, study rooms and laundromats. In the rooms, we have desks, chairs, closets, bookshelves, beds, nightstands and a fridge. The cost of accommodation is affordable; I pay around 1,400 roubles per month, which is inexpensive by any standard.
At this dorm, I have met interesting people from different countries. We cook and share our traditional foods, tell some interesting stories, help each other study, have discussions or just play ping pong together. I learn more about different cultures and traditions of other countries, as well as introduce the beauty of my country, Vietnam, to all them.
At the moment, there are not many Vietnamese students at HSE University. Almost all of them are learning Russian in Preparatory Year while some are taking courses in different programmes at HSE. I am playing the role of their leader. We help each other and share study experiences. Sometimes we just gather all together to have dinner and chat.
International Students Support and Erasmus Student Network at HSE regularly hold Culture Cafés in which we are planning to take part. It’s a great opportunity for students to meet up in an informal atmosphere and talk about different culture customs. We will make presentation of Vietnam’s culture and introduce our Motherland to others.
With support from HSE International Admissions, I have created a Facebook page named “Trường Kinh tế Cao cấp” (HSE University in Vietnamese language). It is my practice in social media marketing. I try to post information about HSE University that might be useful for Vietnamese students who want or will study here, such as general introduction, scholarships, HSE Olympiads, tuition fees, living in dormitory, etc. After a couple of weeks, there were thousands of followers. As a result, more students in Vietnam know about HSE and ask for advice. The most popular posts so far have been those about HSE taking part in the Global Education Fair in Vietnam in April, 2017 and HSE Olympiad to be held in Vietnam on April 4-5, 2017.
To conclude, I would like to say that studying at HSE is one of the best decisions a student can make. I feel that the university has a very supportive and motivating environment. I hope it is the case for other international students as well. I am a proud student of HSE.