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From Vladivostok to Philadelphia: Who Studied at HSE University This Summer

In early August, this year’s HSE Summer University comes to a close. For the first time, the school welcomed a group of Russian students from Far Eastern Federal University.

Why HSE University is Interesting to the Far East

This year, the Summer University  offered its students a lot of new things, both in terms of courses and the school’s cultural programme in Moscow and St. Petersburg. But probably the main difference from the previous years was the participation of a group of students from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU).

The HSE Summer University was initially conceived as an international summer programme, but this doesn’t mean it is only open to international students. To the contrary, HSE University brings international and Russian students together for a fruitful exchange of academic, cultural and everyday experiences.

FEFU students’ participation in the HSE Summer University was not by chance. The two universities are planning on launching joint educational projects. HSE University has a lot to offer to students from a region that plays such a crucial role in Russia’s economy and foreign trade. Some of the Summer University courses are dedicated, for example, to topics such as Russia’s position in the changing world, energy economy, and BRICS cooperation. The Far Eastern students also had an opportunity to look at economics and politics from a ‘Western’ perspective, thanks to two courses on Russia-EU relations.

How to Make the Most of Your Studies

‘Our university has a programme to support highly motivated students called Academic Excellence and Honors Education. I applied for it and got accepted. It’s as easy as that!’ says Mikhail Ermolaev, a student of the FEFU School of Economics and Management.

This was my first experience studying in a summer programme. I haven’t been disappointed: the Summer University has interesting courses and lecturers

According to Mikhail, he chose subjects related to his major: ‘I particularly enjoyed the course on decision-making theory, by Professor Fuad Aleskerov. He is a first-rate expert, who has authored a lot of publications. I plan to study them further.’

FEFU students admit that they were going to Moscow and St. Petersburg with only a general idea of how the HSE Summer University works. ‘The main thing I knew about the Summer University is that you need to know English and that it is mostly  international students who study here’, says Nikita Kravchenko, who studies Southeast Asia in the School of Regional and International Studies at the FEFU Institute of Oriental Studies. At the same time, he chose courses, that he estimates will be useful for him in the future.


Nikita Kravchenko, HSE Summer University

‘I was impressed by the HSE University lecturers’ expertise and the fact that we could easily interact with them, like in Professor Nadezhda Shilova’s behavioural economics course, for example.  Professor Iliya Kiriya taught an amazing course on fake news, and Dr. Maria Sole Continiello taught a  very informative courseon human rights legislation. Knowledge in human rights will be very helpful for me in the future, when I go to Vietnam as a volunteer.’

Nikita also mentioned the value of interacting with students from Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, China, Belgium, England, Italy and other countries. They were all ‘very positive’, which helped them improve their communication and spoken English skills.

Nikita Kravchenko offered a piece of advice to those who are thinking about going to the HSE Summer University next year: ‘You’ll need a good command of basic English: to talk to the international students, to understand the lectures, to write essays, and to make presentations. While you’ll have some time to see Moscow or St. Petersburg, this won’t be a tourist trip. You are going to study and must understand very clearly what you want to get out of being here.’

A Different Perspective

Russian students came to the Summer University not only from FEFU. Valeria Varlashova grew up in Irkutsk, but now she lives in Philadelphia and studies at Temple University.


Valeria Varlashova, HSE Summer University

‘I study mathematical economics at my home university, so at the HSE Summer University, I decided to take courses in mathematics and behavioural economics. I came back to Russia for my summer studies in order to get a new perspective on the things I study in the U.S. This is a different view, another approach to economics, and this knowledge will be useful for me.’

According to Valeria, many things at the Summer University turned out to be different from what she had expected: ‘The studies are organized in a completely different way here, but that’s what I liked. Honestly, I did not expect so many and such diverse  international classmates. It was thrilling to meet people from so many countries’.

Valeria recommends the HSE Summer University to anyone looking for something new and different from their usual studies. ‘Not many people know how beautiful Moscow is,’ she adds. ‘It is a wonderful place for students!’

See also:

HSE International Summer University in Full Swing

Every summer, HSE’s International Summer University attracts students, graduate students, post-docs, and professionals from around the world who wish to spend several weeks in Moscow to deepen their knowledge in a variety of fields. With the programme entering its second month, HSE News Service sat down with several students to talk about their impressions of it so far.

HSE Welcomes Students to International Summer University 2019

On June 24, HSE University held an opening ceremony for its International Summer University. Newly arrived students from 32 countries around the globe including Germany, the US, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and others were welcomed by First Vice Rector Vadim Radaev and Vice Rector Ivan Prostakov.

Summer University to Introduce New Features

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.

HSE Summer University Celebrates Another Successful Year

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.

Summer Mathematics Programme Tailored to Students’ Research Interests

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.

Renowned Professors Offer New Courses for Summer University Students

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.

Summer University Begins at HSE

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.

‘Now I Really Recommend Moscow to All My Friends’

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.

'Moscow Seems Like a Totally Different World but I Feel Very Comfortable Here'

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.

‘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.