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Buddies are Here to Help

HSE’s first Summer University has come to an end. Some 40 students from an array of countries, ranging from Brazil and the U.S. to South Korea and China, took part in the University.

Summer University participants acquired not only new and valuable knowledge in various academic subjects taught by some of HSE’s best instructors, but they also learned to live in an international environment, communicate with representatives of diverse cultures and understand various traditions.

HSE ensured that living in Moscow and studying at the Summer University were as easy and comfortable for the students as possible. To do this, a number of volunteers and Buddies – ordinary HSE students – actively participated in the Summer University’s activities.

HSE students, Buddies and foreign students from the Summer University describe their experience:

Matvey Kuzikov, first-year student in the Faculty of Law, took part in literally every step of the process. He met participants at the airport, helped them move into the dorms, and showed University guests how to use the metro and buy water at the store. 'It was incredible. I’m very happy that the openness of the HSE gives students such wonderful opportunities to communicate and learn about the world. I was initially worried that I might offend one of the guests with my lack of knowledge about different cultural traditions, but everyone was so friendly! I saw how similar we all actually are,' Matvey says.

Marina Kozodayeva, first-year student in the School of Integrated Communications, made the decision to become a Buddy quickly and spontaneously. She liked the idea of becoming a guide around her city, helping guests navigate Moscow, and telling them about the Russian capital. Among other things, Marina took the foreign students to the Tretyakov State Gallery and told them about the Zamoskvorechye district. She also helped with preparing and submitting their documents and with explaining instructions and other required official rules related to the foreigners’ stay in Russia. She brushed up on her English, though she initially worried that she couldn’t keep up. But she was a success! 'It was all brilliant, fantastic and emotional! Join the Buddy club and see for yourself how great it is!' Marina says

And here is the opinion of the guests the Buddies helped out:

Gabriela Cunha, Universidade de Brasilia

 — I think the buddies made our time in Moscow very enjoyable, helping us with some language obstacles, giving us useful information and providing help in different situations (like with the staff at the dorm), and also teaching us about the culture of their country while taking us to several interesting spots around the city. I'd really like to thank them for one of my best times I've ever had. It was a pleasure to study at the HSE and meet so many interesting and kind people. Hope to see you all again!

 Shiyi Lu, Fudan University (China)

— The stay in Russia means a lot to me – it was my first time going abroad and meeting so many different and interesting people... A big thanks to all of you for your assistance and kindness. I really enjoyed my stay here! And I really like Russia!

Alex Webster, Towson University (U.S.)

— My first time leaving the U.S. was a huge step for me and every part was worth it 10 times over. I met amazing people from all over the world, and these people became some of my best friends, sharing good times at HSE in Moscow, Russia. I wouldn’t trade this past month for the world.

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See also:

Summer University Students Discuss Global Food Security

From July 7−18, 2014, a seminar called ‘Russia and Global Food Security’ took place as part of the HSE Summer University.