Dominic Weber, Bachelor Program
University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Northwestern Switzerland)
September - January
2019 - 2020 Academic year
During the week we had normal classes. They are scheduled mostly between 10 am and 7 pm which is different than in Switzerland but absolutely fine. The duration of one class is one and a half hour. After that I always had 10-15 minutes break. The breaks really depended on the lecturer. After classes I either spent some time doing homework or I went out with other students to visit the city.
Before I arrived in Moscow we had to send a few documents to the administrator at the university. The communication flu through mail which made it easy and not complicated. The administrator always gave me enough time to send the documents and was very friendly. After I arrived at the university the administrator always took care of me and the other students and was also very helpful when we had problems. To conclude I have to say that the administrative support was great!
As a student, I felt comfortable most of the time in the university. Sometimes it was hard to communicate with other students or employees on the campus because they often do not speak English. Obviously the students in our study program were able to speak English. When I had some issues I received help every time from other colleagues from the class or from the administrator. Experience studying outside my home country Studying in Russia is not something that everyone has done and it feels great to be something special and not usual. It was an amazing experience to see how university is going in another country of the world. Sometimes it was challenging but sometimes it is good to be out of the comfort zone to develop the own personality.
Quality of academic processes
Most of the time the academic processes went smooth and without complications. Sometimes there were miscommunications with lectures that were called off but that is normal for a university.
In general, I was surprised by my study results. I learned a lot also in comparison to my home university.
The courses I liked most is International Economic Relations by Mr. Ligorio as well as my Russian classes by Mrs. Filatova. They provided very interesting lecture material and helped me a lot to increase my knowledge.
Other students in my program
All the other students in my program were mostly very helpful but also respectful. I felt very comfortable during class as well as in leisure time. At the end, I found a lot of new friends and I am looking forward to keeping up this relationship.
Using my knowledge in the future carrier and study
In general, I learned a lot about Russian culture and how they behave. This makes it easier for me to work in an international company that has to do Russia. Also the experience I got here will be very helpful in the future.
My opinion about Moscow and Russia
Moscow is a beautiful city that has a lot to offer. There are uncountable places that you can visit during your study. You will never get bored. The fact that the city is enormously huge is confirming the fact that you will never get bored. There is a lot to explore in your leisure time. What I sometimes did not like is the behavior of elderly people. Sometimes they can be rude which did not make me feel very comfortable. But I have to say that the younger generation is very open and interested in different cultures, which is balancing again my comfortability.
I really suggest to prepare well for you exchange semester. It is very useful to know the basics of the Russian language to communicate with others. There are not a lot of English speaking people in this city. I also want to future students to be aware about the medical check. When I arrived here in Moscow I had to do several medical checks, which were in my opinion not necessary. I know that it is the Russian law that says that we have to make it, so there is nothing the administrator can do. I was just a bit surprised that we had to make a blood test, cardiology test, and also a test for the lungs. When you come here you have to do this, no matter where you are from and no matter what kind of documents you handed in before (for the visa for example). It is only a whole day you have to spend for the medical check and the price for this is about 1600 rubles and after the tests everything was fine and there were no problems. I also have to say that the doctors were very professional and the medical infrastructure was available.
There are several stereotypes about Russia and some of them are true. The stereotype that every Russian is drinking a lot of vodka is definitely not true. I did not see a difference in the consumption of alcohol here in Russia and in my home country Switzerland. The stereotype that here in Russia are a lot of beautiful women is true.
Places in Moscow
As I mentioned earlier in my report, there are a lot of different places in Moscow. I can really recommend the museum of the Russian military, as well as the Izmaylovo District and the market there. Obviously I recommend the basic tourist attractions like the Red Square, the Bolshoi theater and the Kremlin.
The locals I met were very friendly most of the time. The ones that speak English are always interested in where I am from and they come to me and ask me. I was very surprised, but I always felt comfortable when I was talking to a local.
The most interesting thing is that Russians are not on time, even if they say that they are punctual. The lecture normally starts 5-10 minutes later because most of the students were late and sometimes also the teacher. Here I recognized that Swiss people are definitely very punctual.
Making an exchange in Moscow is not something everyone does. Therefore, I really recommend you to go to Russia. Moscow has a lot to offer and it is very interesting to learn the Russian culture. The standard of the university is very good and the administrator as well as the teachers are very professional and helpful.