The start of an academic year is always characterized by a new and expanded team of faculty and students ‘on board’ the HSE. In 2015 over 40 new international faculty members have joined HSE and are ready for a new voyage of discovery. Their stay at the university traditionally begins with a number of seminars, meetings and other events which come under the Orientations session, organized by the International Faculty Support Unit. The programme of events in 2015 included the HSE Open Talks Lectorium and the Russian Tearoom quiz on HSE Day, Employment Day for the new hires, introductory seminars and city tours.
This year the concept of cultural events for new international faculty members has changed. Whereas in 2014 the programme of guided tours included excursions to the Moscow Kremlin, the Moscow History Museum and the 'Kolomenskoe' museum complex, this September tours featured the city centre as a whole.
The walking tour was conducted by HSE School of Cultural Studies students, Maria Figura and Kseniya Barysheva and was an example of the good, old HSE tradition of faculty-student collaboration through working on various cultural projects. During a two-hour stroll through downtown Moscow the sightseers explored the remarkable history and architecture of Lubyanka square, Bolshoi Theatre, Kuznetsky Most, Tverskaya street, Manezhnaya square, Alexander Garden, Red Square, etc.
The Moscow River Guided Tour became the event that brought together not only the international faculty but also their coordinators, colleagues, family and friends. Among the guests who joined the party we can mention Nina Belyaeva, the Head of the Public Policy Department, and Mira Bergelson, Professor at the School of Philology. The guests enjoyed a breathtaking view of Moscow from an unusual angle. From the deck of a boat sailing down the Moscow River they saw most of the city center sights like Sparrow Hills, Moscow State University, St Basil's Cathedral, Peter the Great monument, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, and many more, and besides, during the three hours on board, they had an opportunity to communicate with peers from different faculties, meet newcomers, share experiences, thoughts and even joint research ideas. No one wanted to break up the party atmosphere of unity and fellowship and after the cruise many continued to enjoy the Friday night at local bars and cafés with their new-found friends and colleagues.