‘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.
Every year, HSE Summer University creates new opportunities for its participants - both students and researchers. The programme is becoming more and more versatile and the range of fields of study is constantly growing. In 2018, about 200 international students from all over the world took part in the Summer University. This year, participants are invited to choose from a larger pool of courses and even travel to Siberia.
On August 16, the HSE Summer University officially came to an end. The graduation ceremony was an opportunity for participants, teachers and programme administrators to celebrate yet another successful season – and the Summer University’s fifth birthday.
The HSE Summer University is off to a strong start this year, and one of its programmes – the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Mathematics – has already been met with considerable enthusiasm by participating students. Designed for undergraduate students majoring in Mathematics or related areas, participants work on research projects under the supervision of distinguished mathematicians.
HSE’s Summer University officially opened on June 20. Now in its fourth week, the Summer University is in full swing at three of HSE’s four campuses– Moscow, St Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Participants continue coming to Russia for courses on topics such as politics, history, economics, and Russian and Eurasian cultures. Most courses last two to four weeks and all of them are taught in English.
In its fifth year already, the HSE Summer University was officially opened on June 20th by Vice Rector, Ivan Prostakov. Over the next 8 weeks, HSE will provide almost 200 students, PhD candidates, postdocs and professionals from all around the world with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge in a wide range of fields. Many of the courses, all of which are taught in English, focus on areas such as politics, history, economics, and Russian and Eurasian cultures.
The fourth HSE International Summer University has drawn to a close. The programme continues to grow and evolve. This year over 160 students from 46 universities came to HSE to take courses in International Relations & Politics, Computer Science, Russian Studies, Economics, Culture & History.
On July 21, students from Seoul National University presented their projects devoted to politics, economics and social sphere of Russia. Every year, within the framework of HSE Summer University, a group of South Korean students comes to Moscow to learn the Russian language and take 'Understanding Modern Russia' course. At the end of the course students prepare presentations based on the knowledge they have gained and their own research results.
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.
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.
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.