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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:

Summer University 2023: ‘A Good Introduction to Urban Studies’

At the start of August, HSE University held the tenth annual Summer University. This year’s programme took the form of a workshop on urban studies. The participants attended four courses from HSE University faculty and invited experts and worked on their own projects to develop a cultural heritage site. Jung Woo Lee, from South Korea, shares his impressions of the Summer University.

‘I Have Always Respected the University’s Comprehensiveness and Inclusiveness’

Throughout July, students of the HSE International Summer University are studying Russian History and Behavioural Economics. The courses are taking place in an online format—something that seemed unthinkable for a summer programme before the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent years have shown that online learning is a unique opportunity for students from all over the world to study with leading HSE University professors from the comfort of their own homes.

HSE International Summer University to Offer Lectures in Partnership with Pompeu Fabra University

As a part of long-standing cooperation between HSE University and the Pompeu Fabra University, this summer, International Summer University  in collaboration with Barcelona International Summer School (BISS) will organize a series of open lectures for participants of both summer programmes. Some of HSE Summer University courses are still open for registration.

Summer University to Be Held Online Second Year in a Row

International students from all over the world can enroll in HSE University’s summer programme, choosing from a wide range of courses that will be delivered via Zoom from June 20 till August 20, 2021. This year, Summer University is offering new courses, tuition fee discounts, and networking opportunities. Application deadline is May 20, 2021.

‘I Really Enjoyed This Summer School Experience’

The HSE International Summer University completed its 2020 session on August 20. Due to the pandemic, the programme was held online for the first time. Students from all over the world met on Zoom to study Russian language as well as take a variety of subject specific courses and participate in informal activities.

‘I Am Glad That I Made the Decision to Be at Summer University’

HSE Summer University, which has moved its classes online this year due to the pandemic, began on July 15. The programme will run until August 20, with students taking courses of various duration.

HSE Summer University 2020 to Be Held Online

HSE Summer University will begin on July 15 this year. All courses will be taught online via Zoom. The registration deadline has been extended until July 1, 2020.

Changes to HSE Summer University Dates

The coronavirus is strong, but together we are stronger. Let’s take care and stay safe, so that we can all soon embrace each other again. Due to recent travel and visa restrictions, as well as in the interest of students' health, the 2020 HSE Summer University session dates have been changed. Programme sessions will now begin on July 15 and conclude on August 20.

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.