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National Research University Higher School of EconomicsNewsEducation‘Russia Is Different Than I Expected — It’s a Lot Nicer’

‘Russia Is Different Than I Expected — It’s a Lot Nicer’

The fourth Summer University for international students has kicked off at HSE. The number of Summer University students has almost doubled this year to more than 150, with over a third of them coming independently. Student groups have come from HSE’s partner universities in the United States, South Korea, China, and European countries.

Traditionally, the Summer University programme includes courses in political science, economics, Russian culture and history, as well as computer science. This year’s innovation is the Research Experience for Undergraduates in Mathematics programme, which offers students an opportunity to carry out research supervised by HSE scholars. The Russian language course remains popular among Summer University students. Programme participants will also be able to spend a week in St. Petersburg, to attend the Critical Perspectives on International Business course.

According to Oksana Chernenko, Director for Innovations in Education and head of the Summer University, ‘The Summer University is developing fast, and we are happy to see that ever more students choose our summer programme, thanks in part to feedback from our former participants. We are also expanding cooperation with partner universities, as well as DAAD, which allocated more stipends for German students this year. As was the case last year, we have large groups from Seoul National University and SeoulTech. American students from the University of South Alabama who arrived earlier to study Russian will also be taking some of our courses. Besides, this is the first time we have had a group of students from the University of York (UK). They will be dividing their time between Moscow and St. Petersburg campuses. What's important, starting this year, Summer University participants can get a discount when they apply for our graduate and undergraduate programmes.'


Grigorios Katsaros (Lancaster University)

I’m from Greece. I study in Lancaster and came here for the summer programme. We had three choices from our university: Paris, Copenhagen, and Russia. I’ve been everywhere except Russia, that’s why I chose it. I don’t speak any Russian, only English. I’ve been here for one week, and I’ve already visited the key historical places in Moscow. I still have to explore the night clubs and the local bars.

I chose courses in economics and politics, in gas and the petroleum industry, contemporary issues related to Russia-EU relations, food security, and doing business in Russia, because I’m planning to start a new business in Greece. So far, everything has been great. We had our first lecture today about food security, and it was good. The lecturer spoke English well, and we had an interesting discussion about food security. My expectations are to learn more about Russia, how people think, and about doing business here.

Margarida Sà (Lancaster University)

I’m from Portugal but I’m taking my MA degree in the UK, at Lancaster University. We had three options for our first project: to do a normal dissertation, an internship at a company, or a summer school with a smaller dissertation. I thought summer school is the best option because it offers an opportunity to travel and get to know another culture. It’s my first time in Russia, and I know that you have beautiful metro stations in Moscow, so I’m looking forward to visiting it. 

I’ve chosen the following courses at HSE: Doing Business in Russia; Russia and Global Food Security; Challenges to EU–Russia Economic Links; as well as three weeks of Russian language. All the courses I’ve chosen are about Russia, since I want to learn more about this country. I won’t be an expert on it, but I will have some insights into it that other people don’t have.

Sebastian Clegg (University of York)

I study History at the University of York. And it’s history that has gotten me to come here. I’ve been learning a lot about Russia in my studies, so it’s very interesting to come here and see everything in real life. I’ve been to the Space Museum, and it was very interesting to see the Russian perceptions of cosmonautics, since it is not very well documented in Western academia. Not many people have even heard of Yury Gagarin.

People have been talking about Russia, and I wanted to see if what they say is true and get my own perspective on it. It’s a lot different than I expected, it’s a lot nicer, and people are friendlier. The country is a lot more modern and cosmopolitan.

See also:

Summer University: A Gateway to HSE and Russia

In 2014 HSE launched its first Summer University aimed at international students – since then the number of participants and courses as well as their diversity grew greatly. The Summer University opens its doors to the world on June 20, 2017, and Oksana Chernenko, Director of the Summer University programme, and Anna Mezentseva, manager of the Summer University programme, talked to The HSE Look about the programme and how it helps to promote HSE and Russia as study destinations globally.

‘I’m Planning to Stay at HSE on an Exchange Programme’

On August 20, the third Summer University at HSE drew to a close. More than 100 foreign participants spent several weeks in Moscow, as well as one week each on the St. Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod campuses. Some of them have decided to extend their stay at HSE for a while longer.

Summer University Students Learn Russian

This summer, over 100 international students attended the Summer University at HSE. Of all the courses offered by the programme, Russian as a foreign language is especially popular, with more than 50 students enrolling. Maria Shilankova, RFL teacher, and Oksana Chernenko, Director of the Summer University, spoke with HSE News Service about the educational process and the students’ achievements.

Progress and Excitement – SNU’s Programme in Moscow

The SNU programme (Seoul National University) was held in Moscow for the second time as part of HSE’s Summer University programme. This time, five groups of Korean students came to study Russian, three of which began studying from an absolute beginner level, with the other two groups having already studied it at home in Seoul.

‘I Want to Travel across all of Russia — From Moscow to Vladivostok’. What Summer University Students Dream about

June 20th marked the start of HSE’s third Summer University. This year’s programme saw the participation of students from 25 different countries.

HSE Summer University 2016 Is Accepting Applications

Like any major academic institution, the Higher School of Economics offers teaching in both traditional educational programmes and various shorter formats. The Summer University which began two years ago and gives students from other universities the chance to attend additional courses during the summer vacation, falls into the second category. It provides opportunities to study with particular professors and helps students decide how to pursue their academic interests in the future.

'When You Come Here, You Learn to Disassociate Politics from Culture and People'

On August 15, the second HSE Summer University drew to a close. The number of participants in this year's programmer nearly tripled with 103 students coming from 15 countries. This included both independent students as well at five organized groups from Seoul National University, Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Miami University, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.

Korean Students in Moscow: Understanding Modern Russia

From July 4 to 25, the HSE Summer University welcomed thirty Korean students from the Seoul National University who had come to study Russian and learn more about modern life in Russia as part of SNU’s programme in Moscow.

Second Season of HSE Summer University Opens

On June 20, HSE Summer University classes began. In comparison with last year, the university has seen an increase both in the number of participants and in the diversity of courses offered.

Applications Being Accepted for HSE's 2015 Summer University

The Summer University started at HSE in 2014, and has since been developing and growing rapidly. Classes in this year's programme will take place between June 22 and August 8. Applications will be accepted until May 1.