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Reflections on the HSE Preparatory Year Programme

Preparatory Year programme at HSE aims to help students learn Russian language in order to subsequently apply to Russian-taught Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes at HSE or other Russian universities. Two recent graduates of the programme share their impressions.

Andrianantenaina Hasinavalona Patricia

For 19-year old Andrianantenaina Hasinavalona Patricia, currently a second-year undergraduate in the Culture Studies programme, coming to Russia to study in HSE’s Preparatory Year programme was the first time she had lived away from her family in Madagascar. It was a difficult but rewarding experience.

Andrianantenaina says that the greatest strength of the Preparatory Year programme is that it gave her the ability to understand and speak Russian after having arrived in the country with zero Russian skills. ‘When I came to Russia, I didn’t even know the alphabet, but now I can say that I can speak Russian thanks to the Preparatory Year’.

While she was satisfied with the conversational Russian she learned in the Preparatory Year, if Andrianantenaina could make one change, she would have the programme focus more on academic language.

‘Something that maybe can be added to the programme is academic speech…for lectures, seminars, and so on’, she says, adding that she felt some of the professors weren’t always aware of their language skills when Andrianantenaina and her international classmates began classes. ‘So the thing that I want to change is that I want it to be possible for foreign students and Russian students to study together more easily like in other universities’.

Despite the initial challenges with language preparation, Andrianantenaina is enjoying her time in the Cultural Studies programme.

‘It’s very interesting because It aims to enhance and celebrate cultural experiences – to enjoy culture by analysing it and its social meaning’, she says. ‘It’s also interesting because Cultural Studies deals with culture as a part of everyday life. In this programme, we study a lot of things: history, philosophy, language, religion, art and so on. Everyone thinks that we study only Russian culture, but we also study other cultures, such as that of France, which makes it really interesting’.

As for her future plans, Andrianantenaina hopes not only to continue her friendships with the people she’s met at HSE, including from the Preparatory Year, but to someday work in the Ministry of Culture of Madagascar. Her dream is to help show her country’s fascinating culture to the world so that people in other countries have the opportunity to learn about it. 

Divani Kuruppi

Divani Kuruppi, an undergraduate from Sri Lanka in the Software Engineering programme (Faculty of Computer Science), agrees, saying that the Preparatory Year was a very remarkable time period that was both educational and entertaining.

‘I learned not only Russian language, but also common Russian manners and how to react in social situations too’, Divani says. ‘But I'd like to mention that it would be really helpful to continue studying Russian language even after the preparatory year as it is difficult to understand the lectures because of many new terminologies specific to our own study programmes. If possible, it would be great to learn those terms even in the Preparatory Year’.

See also:

How to Transfer to HSE

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HSE and University of London: Joint BA Programme in Applied Data Analysis

In 2018, the Higher School of Economics will launch an English-taught double degree programme in partnership with the University of London in Applied Data Analysis. Graduates will be awarded an undergraduate degree from HSE in Applied Mathematics and Information Science and a Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Business Analytics from the University of London. International applicants are invited to apply online starting November 15, 2017.

Admissions Made Easy for International Students: 2018/2019 Academic Year

On November 15, international student admissions for undergraduate and Master’s programmes opened. This year, prospective students can apply to two programmes simultaneously. They’ll be able to track the application process online in their personal profile on the HSE website where they will receive notifications on the stages of their application’s review and decisions by the admissions committee. The documents for visa invitation can also be submitted there.

Bachelor’s Programme in Economics Accredited by ICAEW

On October 31st, 2017, the bachelor’s programme in Economics taught by HSE in St. Petersburg successfully passed accreditation by ICAEW, a prestigious British association of accountants.

Indonesian Student Chooses HSE to Pursue Entrepreneurial Dream

For Sebastian Billy Anggara, a 20-year-old student from Kediri, Indonesia, coming to HSE to study has been like a dream come true. After learning about HSE from his older brother, who is studying international relations in the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, he decided to apply to the Faculty of Communications, Media and Design to do a Bachelor’s in Advertising and Public Relations. Since the programme is taught in Russian, he will first study at HSE’s Preparatory Year to master the language.

HSE Public Administration Programmes Become the First in Russia to Receive International Recognition

HSE BA and MA programmes in public administration have received European accreditation by the EAPAA.

HSE Launches ‘Bachelor+’ Continuing Education Project

Starting from the next academic year, Bachelor’s students at HSE will have the opportunity to include the courses of a specially designed continuing education project in their curriculum. Those who choose these courses will have additional advantages on the labour market.

Attracted by the Variety of HSE’s Programmes and Students

Alexander Bespalov, a first-year student in the HSE and University of London Parallel Degree Programme in International Relations, was born in Israel to parents who had emigrated from Russia. He recently sat down with the HSE News Service to talk about why he chose to come to Russia for study, the challenges he has overcome, and what he is looking to achieve during his time at HSE.

HSE 2017 Tuition Fees Announced

In 2017, HSE will enroll students in 216 undergraduate and master’s programmes, including over 20 English-taught programmes. The application period for international students to HSE graduate and undergraduate programmes opened on November 1. This year, there are three application rounds. The final deadline is July 1, 2017.

Undergraduate Entrance Exams Offered in English for the First Time

This year, for the first time, international students applying to undergraduate programmes at HSE can take their entrance exams in English. These exams are necessary for admissions to the university’s two English-taught Bachelor’s programmes in Economics and in International Relations. Both programmes are run jointly with the University of London, a long-standing partner of HSE.