School Ten Thousand Kilometres Away from Home: Students from Thailand at HSE University
HSE University continues to develop its international relations with the best Asian universities. At the request of Thammasat University (Thailand), a special short-term educational programme in ‘Russian Language and Culture’ has been created at the HSE St Petersburg International Office.
The Faculty of Liberal Arts at Thammasat University offers a Russian Studies programme that includes courses on the history, geography, and culture of Russia. Over two months, Thai students can take an intensive course on the Russian language at the B1–B2 level at HSE University. The topics of the programme have been selected with consideration of the students’ interests: political science and history. The study load of the programme is 240 academic hours, with classes held daily. Students of the programme also take tours of St Petersburg, visit the Peterhof museum-reserve, and enjoy a cultural programme.
We asked the students from Bangkok about why they chose this programme in particular, as well as what impressions they have of Russia, St Petersburg, and HSE University.
Thanks to the opportunity offered by my professor, for the first time in my life, I went to stay in another country for a long time. Here, we met very patient professors. Speaking Russian is very hard, but the lecturers put a lot of effort into helping us work efficiently, read and understand Russian.
In St Petersburg, I love roaming about the city. Here, I don't feel tired at all no matter how long the route. The pavements are good and the food is wonderful—especially Uzbek and Georgian cuisine.
People are nice as well. They seem grumpy and unfriendly at first, but it’s only from the outside. As soon as you get to know them better, they turn out to be some of the friendliest and most sympathetic people in the world.
I was struck by Peterhof with its fountain system. In addition, I was surprised to see information boards which described the relationships between King Rama V and Tsar Nicholas II in Thai and Russian.
I still make grammar mistakes and often forget words, but an opportunity to communicate face to face is amazing. I am sure that the programme at HSE University will help me with my graduation project at Thammasat University.
HSE is a very multi-faceted university. I like the educational process and working with professors, as well as the opportunity to see the city and get to know its culture.
I like walking a lot. I was impressed by the majestic and exquisite Kazan Cathedral. For me, it is the main symbol of St Petersburg.
I think I will never forget the time spent here. Russia and HSE University have changed my view of life.
I have been trying to find the motivation to study the Russian language for a long time, and the opportunity to study in St Petersburg in the summer truly inspired me.
The main discovery for me is our professor, Alevtina Iagodova. She is very kind and understanding, and she also taught us lots of useful things—Russian life hacks—and it is truly fun!
I also really enjoyed the boat trip along the rivers and canals. I saw beautiful scenery, the city, people, the Russian nature and realised how kind and fun Russians are.
Short-Term Programmes Manager at the Centre for International Education, HSE University-St Petersburg
Currently, interest in getting a Russian education is higher than ever before in Asia-Pacific countries. Talented students from Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia want not only to study in Russia, but to learn about its history and culture and speak the Russian language. HSE is one of a few universities to offer such an opportunity. We are expanding our academic cooperation with top universities in Asia in a targeted and systematic way.