The International Student Fair—a Step toward Universities Abroad
Within the framework of two occasions—the International Partners Week ‘Nurturing Global Citizens for a Global World’ and the conference ‘Education and World Cities’—the International Students Fair is taking place for HSE University – St Petersburg’s students on May 22, 2019. Here is why you should attend this event.
The International Students Fair is an event for those who plan to study abroad as an exchange student, as well as enroll in a Master's degree or a PhD programme.
The core value of the fair for students is the opportunity to learn firsthand about what universities overseas offer to foreign students in terms of gaining international experience and receiving education.
Currently, HSE University – St Petersburg has over 90 partner universities around the world: for example, 12 partners in Italy, 10—in France, 9—in Germany, 7—in China, 5—in the UK, 4—in South Korea, etc.
In 2018-2019, the University has signed more than fifty new agreements with foreign universities. Six of them, in particular, Harbin Institute of Technology (China), XI'an Jiaotong – Liverpool University (China), Tammasat University (Thailand), Szeged University (Hungary), Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University (France), and IESEG School of Management (France) are taking part in the fair. The full list of partners participating in the fair can be found here.
What questions should be addressed to the representatives in order to better understand the conditions and features of training in universities abroad? Here are some topics to be discussed with them.
1. What the university offers
It does not matter whether you have already picked sides on a university to join, or this is your first acquaintance, you should ask the representatives what programmes or courses a university offers, and what features distinguish them from the same in other universities; how many students study there, what regions or countries they represent, and who teaches them.
Also if might be a good idea to ask what support services are available for foreign students in order to help them adapt to a new environment.
2. Admissions requirements
Admission requirements are the thing that students are always interested in. This includes what documents have to be provided, deadlines for submission, the way to upload the documents (as usual, via a special system) and other relevant matters. Also, some certain requirements, which depends on citizenship, may apply.
If you plan to enroll in student mobility programmes, ask the representatives about the language of instructions. Most commonly, universities require a certificate confirming the knowledge of foreign languages (for example, if a programme is taught in English—IELTS or TOEFL). Specify what results you need to provide to ensure a high chance of getting a place.
‘Does the university offer scholarships?’―this is another frequent question from students. It might be useful to learn not only about the scholarships offered by the university, but also about the possibilities of getting financial support within the framework of intergovernmental agreements, or foundations, etc.
As for exchange programmes,starting from 2019/2020 academic year, HSE University – St Petersburg has been managing the scholarship fund. The scholarship covers travel and accommodation expenses.
There is also a certain number of scholarships offered by third parties, such as Erasmus (for European universities), FIRST (for Finnish universities), DAAD (for German universities).
The university’s building contributes a lot to its brand. Do you recall, for instance, the building of Oxford University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
You should learn about how the university is represented within the city—for example, whether the campus is distributed or not, where the main buildings of the university are situated and what surrounds them, whether they are easy to reach, and what facilities are located at the campus.
Find out what options the university offers in terms of accommodation—for example, they might provide you with a place in a hall of residence, or a host family, etc. Additionally, ask if the university provides assistance in finding and renting an apartment.
Do not forget to specify not only the amount of accommodation fees, but the average cost of living per month, which includes food, transport, entertainment, etc.
6. Social contribution
Universities, as defined, make social contribution which is occurred at different levels—positive impact of higher education on economic results of individuals; science-driven research favouring positive changes in the economy, politics, and culture; the development of urban environment and regions; the implementation of charitable projects and much more.
Ask the representatives of the university to give you examples of social contribution that the university has made. This will allow you not only to understand the role of the university in the region of its presence or even in the world, but also help to get an idea of what activities correspond to your personal and professional interests.
It is a reminder that applications for semester and year-long international mobility are accepted at HSE University – St Petersburg twice a year (in Autumn and Spring), additional call may be held as well. Relevant information is available on the Study Abroad Opportunities for HSE SPb Students website.