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Regular version of the site
Book chapter
Common Government Services Portal of Russian Federation. How do people use it? What is the attitude towards it?
In print

Petrova E.

In bk.: Digital Transformation & Global Society: Second International Conference, DTGS 2017, St. Petersburg, Russia, June 21-23, 2017, Revised Selected Papers. Springer International Publishing, 2017.

A Story Of a Russian Student in Germany: It’s So Far Away Part II

Mariia Grebneva

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

HSE (Media Communication)

Karlshochschule International university

5 things which are better in Germany // which you miss the most about your home land

·     Compared to Kyrgyzstan and Russia, German people’s appearance is more
elegant. I admire watching people on the streets on the daily basis. It is a complicated task to explain why I found out this feature. However, people with visual way of thinking will appreciate the pleasant feeling of beauty around them during the first weeks.

·     Although Germany is famous for its beer, young people don’t force you to drink alcohol on the parties. If you are against booze and don’t smoke, everyone will appreciate your decision and even give a glass of water or juice. I had troubles with not drinking alcohol during the meetings with my friends in Russia, because everyone started asking some unpleasant questions.

·     I really miss the taste of Kyrgyz fruits and vegetables. Kyrgyzstan is an agricultural republic; therefore, our markets are teeming with fresh and delicious products. What is more, they are much cheaper. It is possible to find some tasty fruits and vegetables in BIO supermarkets, but they are very expensive.

How did you adapt to life outside the university? What places have you visited besides the university?

Fortunately, I have found a very good WG (ger. Wohngemeinschaft). It is a flat which is shared by several number of people. I live with two other students. So, they helped me so much during the first weeks. I like the ‘WG style’ of life very much. There 5 WGs in our house, therefore, we know each other. Sometimes we have Sunday breakfast with other neighbors.

Besides, I was amazed by the fact that most Germans speak English very well. Thus, I had no problems and misunderstandings with my new acquaintances. Karlsruhe is teeming with international students, because one of the main technical universities is located here. So, it is possible to meet not only Germans, but also people from around the world.

The city has a serene atmosphere, which seems to be alien after crowded and noisy Moscow. In comparison to Kyrgyzstan and Russia, daily life is completely different. People don’t spend a huge amount of time in transport because city is not so big. Even elderly do sports. I admired by the aged couples jogging together.

Have you received enough support from the university?

I am very grateful to Academic office of Karls (shortened from Karlshochschule) for being responsive for general questions about study program. Karlshochschule has a contrasting approach to educational process. However, it is suitable for their audience. Because it is a small private university and academic groups are tiny (comparing to HSE’s), seminar based approach acts positively for productive study process.

In addition, I had a wonderful buddy (academic advisor), who helped me to get the registration in the city and manage with other bureaucracy.

Why did you choose Germany to go for the semester abroad?

Honestly, it was a rather spontaneous decision. During the freshmen year in HSE, I wanted to apply for an exchange semester in America. Unfortunately, I didn’t get enough points on my English language exam. Moreover, I didn’t find the appropriate academic program which suited for HSE’s study plan. Thus, I have applied for German exchange program. It is very important for me that Karls offers resembling subjects on International Media Management. So, I don’t regret about my choice.

What have you learnt from the academic mobility program?

Being an international student is a customary situation for me. I have paddled my own canoe when I moved to Russia. Thus, I have learnt that nobody is responsible for my life. I should be prepared for unpleasant circumstances and unpredictable situations.

However, one of my main purposes here is understanding the lifespan outside the CIS. It is clear that Soviet Union times united many countries and cultures. Therefore, we have some similar traditions and customs. Europe was explored place for me. Germany is a peculiar country, which is famous for high social standards and mature economy. Thanks to this trip I managed to build up my personal view of ‘outside world’ and clarify my future destiny.

Going for a semester abroad is hard: myth or reality?

Considering the financial side of this question, it is hard to deny that it costs a lot unless you can obtain the Erasmus stipendium. However, it is possible to minimize the expenses thanks to thoughtful money spending.

The general application process in HSE is not that hard. But one of the main elements of success is top place is ranking list. I don’t believe that our academic results reflect out intelligence or professional success. However, you should have excellent scores for previous year before applying for exchange program.

What courses did you attend during your semester? Which one did you like the most? mention a professor, who influenced you the most, if you want)

I took the courses which correspond to my HSE study program. But I can emphasize that Academic Writing course, which was additional to the list of my obligatory subjects, is fascinating. It is one of the most useful courses in my study plan. Our tutor, Alaa Khalil, is a very intelligent person who knows a lot about linguistics and writing techniques.

What was alike and what was different from your home university?

As I mentioned before, the educational approach and size of study groups is completely different from HSE. However, I noticed a similarity in the general study focus. There are numerous number of programs connected to management in diversity spheres in both universities. It is distinctive feature of Karlshochschule. Besides, HSE has a very strong management school which is represented on different faculties.