Drawn by Russian Language and Culture, German Student Enrols at HSE
Having fallen in love with Moscow and the Russian culture during an exchange programme three years ago at HSE, Alis Maria Endres, a native of Germany, decided that she wanted to return to the university to complete a Master’s degree in management. In order to be able to study in Russian, Alis Maria first enrolled in HSE's International Preparatory Year programme.
‘When I had the option to return to Russia for my Master’s, I took it’, the 26-year old says with excitement. ‘About HSE, I love the international environment – the diversity, the cultural exchange, Russians and foreigners studying together. And the fact that it is one of the best universities in the country, naturally’.
Earlier in her educational career, Alis planned to study linguistics, which she says is still her true passion, but since good jobs for linguists are difficult to find in Germany, she chose management instead. It’s a career in which language skills are a big plus.
‘I ended up in management more or less by accident, but I ended up liking it more than I had initially expected’, she says. ‘At my previous job, I had close contact with the company executives, so I had the chance to gain direct insight into the management of a medium-sized international company. I found it to be a complex and rather challenging field of work, but very interesting for exactly these reasons’.
This year Alis studied in the HSE Preparatory Year programme, having previously completed training as a multilingual secretary (English and French) and a Bachelor’s degree in international business with special focus on the BRIC countries. Apart from Russian language, she was taking courses in history, mathematics, social studies and contemporary history of Russia – all in Russian.
‘All subjects are interesting and definitely manageable, but mathematics is difficult for me, as the topics we deal with here are completely different from what I am used to from school’, she says of her experience. ‘But since all the students in my group help and support each other, I am certain that I will pass this exam as well. And the Preparatory Year office is really helpful with all kinds of problems that we, the students, can’t solve by ourselves’.
As she prepares to begin the programme in management, Alis is making sure to take time to pursue her interests outside her studies. One of her biggest hobbies is historical dancing, which she started the first time she was in Moscow.
‘The name of the group is Trianon. We practice every week, and there is a ball or dance every few months, or we go to balls in other Russian cities, like Kaluga, Ryazan, or Saratov’, she says. ‘And since everyone is Russian, it has really helped to improve my language skills’.
While some things about Russia still puzzle her sometimes, Alis says that learning to accept differences instead of questioning them and asking Russian friends for help if she is really at a loss have been crucial to adapting. ‘Russia is not the first “new” country I have lived in’, she says, mentioning her previous experience studying and working in Ireland and France. ‘But living in Russia is by far the most challenging. It is something you absolutely have to experience for yourself’, she says. ‘Get to know the country, meet new people. You will be amazed how much Russia, or even just Moscow, has to offer’.
Applications for Preparatory Year programme are open until August 31, 2018. Apply online.
Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for HSE News service
HSE’s Preparatory Year Programme for international students includes not only intensive Russian language training but also subject specific courses. One such course is ‘Russian Literature’, which introduces international students to classic works by Russian writers such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov. In the course, students read and discuss select texts in the original Russian, which helps them gain a better understanding of the Russian culture and history.
HSE Preparatory Year students not only learn Russian and get ready to enroll in Bachelor’s or Master’s programmes but also explore Russian culture and way of life, which includes trying the local cuisine, sightseeing, and interacting with Russian people. Three international Prep Year students have talked to HSE News Service about learning the language, getting used to living in Moscow, and joining in New Year celebrations in Russia.
On December 20, the students of the International Preparatory Year programme at HSE’s Moscow campus got together to usher in the New Year in true Russian style. They all first arrived in Moscow this September with zero or very limited knowledge of Russian. So, their programme started with an intensive course of Russian as a Foreign Language. Now, three months later, they have already mastered enough Russian to make mini-presentations, perform sketches, take part in a Russian culture quiz, and solve Russian riddles.
On July 12, HSE officially congratulated the graduates of the 2018 Preparatory Year programme. The 10-month intensive course, which was introduced at HSE in 2015, is designed for international students with little or no knowledge of Russian who wish to undertake Russian-taught full-degree programmes. The curriculum focuses on basic language skills (reading, listening, speaking, and writing) and students are able to study in their chosen academic field (humanities, economics, or engineering). This year, young graduates from 40 different countries attended the ceremony, where they were congratulated by their teachers, friends and families.
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.
‘Everyone Finds It Challenging in the Beginning, but I’ve Progressed a Lot, and Now I Can Speak Russian Very Well’
On July 21, 2017, the graduation ceremony for the Preparatory Year programme was held. During the ceremony, more than 170 students from 40 countries received their diplomas, which will enable them to continue their studies in Russia.
HSE’s Preparatory Year trains international students with little or no knowledge of Russian before they begin Russian-taught full-degree programs. Over 10 months of intensive study, students improve their language skills (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), study in a chosen academic field (humanities, economics, or engineering), and adapt to the new educational environment. Upon completing the Preparatory Year, students are expected to possess intermediate-level Russian language skills and be ready to enter Russian-taught full-degree programmes at HSE and other Russian universities.
On July 5, the application window closed for international students who made it through the selection process for state-funded spots at the Higher School of Economics. Those students who were not selected are still able to apply to the university for tuition-paying spots, or can enrol in the university’s Preparatory Year programme.
On June 27, the first cohort of HSE Preparatory Year graduates received their diplomas after passing the exams. Launched in 2015, the programme offers international students an excellent opportunity to develop their Russian language skills and prepare for Russian-taught programmes at HSE and other Russian universities. This year, approximately 90 people from over 30 countries studied in the programme, which included several tracks – economics, humanities and science.
On November 25, the HSE Preparatory Year programme held a special welcome meeting for its new students. The aim of the event is to better acquaint them with HSE and the educational programmes it offers.