Alina Ritter, Bachelor Program
University of Applied Sciences Belefield, Germany
September - January
2019 - 2020 Academic year
The last few months before arriving to Moscow I had very close contact with Zemfira alimullina, the International Program Coordinator at the IBS Moscow. We communicated via mail and I had to send her a few documents to get the visa and to get enrolled at the IBS. The communication was easy and not complicated at all because the coordinator gave me enough time to send her the documents she needed. After the arrival at the campus, Zemfira always made sure that everything is fine with me and the other students. She also helped us with the medical checkup, that has to be done some days after the arrival. If we needed support, we knew that we can come to her office of even call her at any time.
COMFORTABILITY AS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AT THE IBS MOSCOW
At the beginning it was hard to be far away from home and in another country without the people who you are used to have around, but I got used to it after some weeks. The campus felt a little bit like home. Moreover, I had a fellow student from the Fachhochschule Bielefeld with me and made some new friends in Moscow, which made it a lot easier. As my mother language is Russian, I had some benefits and no problems to communicate with Russian students or the employees at the campus. Also, everyone was friendly and ready to help if there were some
EXPERIENCE OF STUDYING ABROAD
Russia is an unusual country to spend a semester abroad. But as I already mentioned, I thought it would be easy for me because I speak Russian and it would be a great opportunity to get even more fluent in this language. Also, I wanted to know if the education system is really that different as my mother always tells me. Yes, it is different, but every country stands out with its special features and I am grateful that I had the chance to experience it on my own. It was challenging to get used to a different education system and different rules especially in the way of writing exams, but it was an amazing experience.
There is nothing that I would criticize regarding the academic process. Everything was fine. Generally, every single course was interesting and helpful. But out of the 10 courses I have chosen the courses I liked the most were Cross Cultural Management by Ms Daria S. Myasoedova and Marketing Research and Operations by Ms Maria M. Bernstein. In my opinion, there were courses which were more demanding and courses which were less demanding. I gave my best and I am satisfied with the study results.
PEOPLE IN MY PROGRAM
The other students in my program, Russian students and international students, were very friendly and always ready to help if there was an issue. During the leisure time I spent a lot of time with international students from Switzerland and France. I am glad to say that I found great people who I can call friends now.
GENERAL OPINION ABOUT MY STAY IN MOSCOW
Moscow is one of the most beautiful cities I have visited so far, especially during winter because everything is lightened, and it just looks magical. There are a lot of places to explore in Moscow.
So, there is not even time to get bored in a huge city like this. Further, it is very uncomplicated to make new acquaintances because the younger generation of Russian people is very open minded and does not hesitate to talk to you. Younger people are always very interested in getting to know who you are and where you are from. A lot of them speak English, so that my fellow international students also had no problem to communicate with them.
I think it is necessary to be well prepared for a semester abroad. Especially in Russia I would suggest learning some basic words in Russian before coming to Russia, as not every Russian speaks English, to get along in the daily life because I have experienced that some international students struggled at the beginning of the semester. Further, future international students have to realize that the Russian education system is not like in European or other countries. It may be different to what you know from your home country. We had a lot of homework, presentations and tasks to do for the courses to make sure that we get the points to pass. Also, we had some small tests in between. You have to put more effort into working for the university during the semester. This is mostly unusual in Europe.
STEREOTYPES AND CULTURE
As I was raised in a Russian-German family I am familiar with the culture and the stereotypes foreigners speak about but there was nothing that surprised me.
FAVORITE PLACES IN MOSCOW
I already mentioned that Moscow has a lot of places to explore but I absolutely fell in love with the Red Square. Every time I went there it felt like the first time. It is one of the most beautiful and powerful places in Moscow. Near the Red Square is the Nikolskaya Street which I was also impressed by. I really liked to take a walk there, especially in the dark. Apart from that one of my favorite places was Moscow City with its skyscrapers. Just to see how multifaceted Moscow is makes it a special city.
Local people are mostly friendly and are willing to help you. Like I said before the younger generation is always interested in getting to know you. What I realized is that most of the people living in Moscow are stressed as it is a big city and a lot of people are there to work or study.