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

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

HSE 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.

This year’s participants are from 14 countries, including China, Italy, Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands, Mexico, the USA, and others. In addition to individual students from different universities around the world, HSE Summer University is also hosting a group of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, HSE’s long-standing partner.

The schedule has been optimized to accommodate students joining the Zoom classes from different time zones. The students will be taking courses in a range of fields, with US-Russia Relations, Politics and Economics of Energy, and Russia’s Soft Power being the top three most popular choices. As is customary, HSE Summer University is also offering Russian language instruction at different levels. The Russian as a Foreign Language course will run 4 weeks with 5 classes a week, giving students an opportunity to make significant progress in learning the language.

Summer University Director Oksana Chernenko

‘Initially, we were uncertain about how to proceed with our Summer University this year, given that the largest draw of the programme is the opportunity to travel to Russia to immerse oneself in the local culture and traditions, which has become impossible due to the current ban on international travel. However, we are happy that we haven’t cancelled the programme, which has become popular with international students since it first started back in 2014. In the end, we were able to move our programme fully online, offering participants courses taught by our top professors. We are happy to welcome new members to our international student community!’

Marina Korshak, HSE School of Linguistics, teacher of Russian as a Foreign Language

This year, Summer University classes are held online for the first time. And even though online learning has already become almost a staple of our lives during the spring semester, it never ceases to bring some surprises. No matter what, but something constantly does not work the way you want it too. However, the students are all very patient and welcoming. On the one hand, we all miss classroom communication, on the other hand, when would we be able to visit each other, confirm our words about the love of reading with huge book shelves behind our backs and meet each other's cats, which always make us smile. Another interesting feature is, of course, the time difference—when I am in the middle of the day, it’s 7 am for a student from Mexico and 8 pm for a student from China. For some reason, you feel an incredible sense of community at such moments.

Emmanuel González, Mexico, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Ever since I found out about HSE, I have been fascinated by the university and its master's programmes. But before flying literally to the other side of the world, I wanted to get to know the university, the city and its people better, in addition to improving my knowledge of the Russian language.

This summer has been a little different and our plans have been altered in one way or another, but life goes on. Honestly, it was difficult to decide to take the course online because I already saw myself walking through the streets of Moscow and the halls of the university.

However, after thinking about it and consulting with my friends and family, I decided to take the opportunity of the classes; it was, after all, another way of getting to know the university

Undoubtedly, nothing will surpass that human contact that occurs in face-to-face relationships, but until now the interaction has been incredible, and the small group helps a lot to take advantage of this modality. All my classmates are cordial, and it is fun to see how we all deal with “home interference” that would not happen in the classroom. I am glad that I made the decision to be at Summer University (even if it was for Zoom) and have this first approach with Russia that I wanted.

Kara Kathleen Hodgson, USA, UiT The Arctic University of Norway  

I need to practice my Russian because my PhD work focuses on Russia and a good number of the sources (written and personal) that I need for my thesis use Russian. The university I’m working at doesn’t offer courses at my level and I can’t just leave for a semester to take a language course during fall or spring. Thus, I chose the Summer University because a) it offers courses at the level I need and b) the 4-week intensive option is best for my schedule.

I was really disappointed that I couldn’t be physically present in Moscow for the course, but again, I understand reality and knew that it was more important to get the practice in now, even if it had to be online. I’m glad that the online option is available as a back-up format.

I much prefer in-person, in-class interactions, especially with language learning. I’m also missing out on the out-of-the-classroom immersive experiences and opportunities for community-building that I would have had if I were physically present in Moscow. Right now, I practice my Russian for 90 minutes and go back to my regular English-speaking life. However, the online format is necessary at this time and we do the best we can. But I still hope that sometime in the near future I’ll be able to attend a course in Moscow or St. Pete.

My impressions regarding the online format are generally favorable

Zoom is a platform that I have been using regularly since March and am now comfortable with its features. The fact that I didn’t need to learn how to use a new-and-different platform was helpful. Overall, I understand that we, as a world, are learning as we go how to cope with the changes that have been thrust upon us. My expectations are flexible when it comes to using online platforms and people’s knowledge of how they operate (I myself was a novice only 4 months ago!). Luckily, Marina, our teacher, seems to be confident and comfortable using Zoom and teaching online. She’s a great asset for the Russian language programme!

See also:

‘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.

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.

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.

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.