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Regular version of the site

‘International Students Who Aren’t in Russia for the Start of the Academic Year Can Study Remotely’

‘International Students Who Aren’t in Russia for the Start of the Academic Year Can Study Remotely’

© HSE University

The new reality presents a number of issues for international students—particularly those joining HSE University in 2022. What changes will there be in the university’s education system? What will happen if a student is unable to come to Moscow by September 1? What is the university doing to help international students adapt? Vice Rector Ivan Prostakov spoke to the HSE News Service to answer these questions and more.

Will anything change for international students due to Russia’s exit from the Bologna Process?

Many Russian universities already had a two-level bachelor’s and master’s education system long before Russia joined the Bologna Process in 2003. By that point, there were already around 200 universities that ran four-year bachelor’s programmes and two-year master’s programmes alongside five-year specialist’s programmes, and HSE University was one of them. The established system of higher education in Russia is not going to change overnight, and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education has announced that Russia’s exit from the Bologna Process will have no impact on the current admissions campaign. Students enrolled in bachelor’s, master’s, and specialist’s programmes at HSE University in 2022 will be able to complete their programmes without any changes and continue their studies both in Russia and abroad.

Will international students who have problems getting to Russia by the start of the academic year be able to study remotely?

The new academic year at the university will begin in the traditional in-person format. At the same time, we understand that it will be difficult for some international students to travel in August and arrive in time for the start of classes. First-year students can contact the heads of their programmes to ask about the possibility of studying remotely in the first module. If their request is approved, the student will follow an individual curriculum based on the classes that are available in an online format. This option will be available in August 2022.

How can new international first-year students permanently living abroad and without a Russian bank account pay for tuition at HSE University?

There are several options at the moment. Firstly, they can pay using Russia’s Mir payment system, which is accepted in Turkey, Vietnam, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Students should contact their bank and explain that they need to make a transfer using the Mir system. Secondly, they can send a payment by wire transfer to HSE University’s rouble or foreign currency account (in US dollars). Finally, friends or relatives living in Russia can pay on behalf of the student via the university’s HSE Payments system. When forming their education contract, the future student receives a set of documents, including a bill and/or invoice for payment. The payment document will specify the required sum in roubles or dollars accordingly.

What is HSE University doing to help international students—particularly first-years—to adapt? How will this work in the new academic year?

HSE University is organising a range of events to help international students adapt and integrate.

© Daniil Prokofyev / HSE University

The Centre for International Student Support conducts pre-arrival webinars, adaptation events after arrival, and a range of events aimed at helping with integration throughout the academic year. Students can contact the Centre’s staff to get more information, answers to their questions, and speedy assistance.

This year’s line-up of adaptation events for first-year international students of bachelor’s and master’s programmes includes:

 A webinar on preparing for arrival in Russia in English and Russian

 An orientation session in English and Russian in which staff from the Centre for International Student Support and the Visa and Registration Centre will talk about keeping safe in the big city, explain the specifics of migration law, and answer students’ questions

 Follow-up sessions in English and Russian in which staff from the Centre for International Student Support will answer any questions from students

 The Survival Russian seminar in English conducted by the Centre for International Student Support and colleagues from the Master’s programme in Russian as a Foreign Language

 The interactive Culture Shock seminar in English and Russian

 A tour of the Pokrovka campus in English and Russian

 English- and Russian-language local adaptation events where international students are living

In addition, volunteers from the Buddy programme are ready to meet international students upon their arrival in Russia and help them for the duration of their studies at HSE University. The university also offers digital support for international students: digital assistants will help with any issues using the university’s digital platforms, services, systems and resources.

International students will be able to take Russian courses, and students can learn more about other cultures and practice their English in in-person Tandem Meetings. The Centre for Psychological Counselling is always ready to help students deal with their fears and anxieties, offer support, and work with students to find solutions to difficult situations. Sessions can be held both in person and online. The service is also available to English-speaking students. See the Centre’s webpage for more information.

There are more than 130 clubs at the university for those who want to get involved in student life. More information is available on the website.

© Mikhail Dmitriev / HSE University

In the new academic year, the Centre for International Student Support will be organising lots of leisure, educational, and other kinds of events. Stay tuned!

Will students studying remotely be able to take part in these adaptation events? If not, what opportunities will they have?

HSE University returned to in-person classes in January 2022, so the majority of the planned post-arrival adaptation activities and integration events throughout the academic year will be held in person. However, international students who are unable to come to Russia due to visa issues or other reasons will be able to access recordings of the main adaptation events through the website.

Will HSE University help students obtain Russian visas and book tickets? And if so, how? Can students get help organising the necessities for living in Russia (bank cards, etc)?

HSE University provides full-cycle visa and migration support, from invitations to visa extensions. Full information about these services is available in Russian and English. The process is outlined clearly, but I want to stress the importance of familiarising yourself with the rules and requirements of migration law ahead of time. Despite all the support offered by the university, international students are held personally responsible for any violations of Russian migration law.

In the near future, we will be launching a mobile app that will allow students to keep track of their calendar, as well as see which documents need to be submitted and when in order to extend their visa or registration in time. Students can always contact the Visa and Registration Support Centre with their questions via Telegram or email. The Student Service Centre handles the issuing and acceptance of paper documents.

In terms of support for day-to-day life, that’s what the Buddies I mentioned before are for. They are often your first friends at HSE University!