Changing Plans: You Should Not Be Afraid

Anna Makhotkina talk with Parvin Tagieva, a student of Lancaster University.

Changing Plans: You Should Not Be Afraid

I've known Parvin for a long time: we’d been going to the same school then we both entered the HSE . Parvin successfully graduated from the Faculty of Business and Managment (School of Business Informatics) in 2019. Currently she is in process of getting Master's degree at Lancaster University in UK, course of MSc Marketing Analytics. But her master's degree had come much faster than she had planned!
Read this inspiring story.

Have you always wanted to study abroad, or was that a spontaneous decision?

Although I did not know where and when I would study abroad, from a young age, I have always dreamt that I would become an international student. However, in my last year at HSE I did not plan to study abroad just after graduation, and I was not prepared for applying anywhere till July. Then I was heartbroken by my boyfriend with whom I planned my life in future (this story makes me smile and proud now). I thought that I missed the chance of making my dream come true because I relied on somebody else and this made me sadder. I did not know what to do, where to apply because, as I thought, it was too late. In July, I started my active preparation for IELTS, and I applied everywhere I could, where it was still possible to apply. Therefore, I can say that my decision was spontaneously too. My motivation made me pass the exam surprisingly successful! I considered universities across the US, Europe and Canada. After doing research, my heart told me to study in England. I received four offers from universities, but I chose Lancaster University, which is top-10 of the UK. I even got a scholarship!

Here I am – living my dream, being happy and not heartbroken anymore. It should be a motivational story for all the heartbroken people.

Is there any difference between education in the UK and in Russia? How are classes different there from classes in HSE? Which class is your favorite?

There are a few differences between studying in England and Russia. Workload, independent study, language barrier/translation issues – only an issue when topics are hard, but not an everyday issue, essential attendance, humor of teachers. My favorite class is marketing, because the teacher involves us in studying by providing real relevant cases in which we are interested in.

How did you get involved in the community?

Since the day I arrived, I met so many friendly and kind people here. Almost everyone is happy to meet you because we are all in the same condition – we came here alone and happy to find new friends. That is why all my new friends I met randomly – at the event, in a class, on the campus street, in a bar and so on.

What were you excited about and/or nervous about before you left?

Before coming here, I counted days before the flight; I could not wait anymore because it was my dream to study abroad. I was excited and at the same time nervous feeling fear of the unknown. I knew that this experience would be remarkable and amazing but also challenging. I remember last hours before my flight – I felt sad leaving my family and my friends. To be fair, it was the last time I was sad about leaving – life here is really amazing and it is never boring.

5. Do you participate in any university activities?

I expected myself to be proactive in lots of student societies (as I used to be at HSE) but almost all my time I study. Doing masters here is much more difficult than bachelors because it takes only one year to cover a huge amount of information. But sometimes I do pole fitness, boxing, attend career and academic events.

What was the most surprising thing you saw at your place? Were there any clichés that were proven true or false?

I am still impressed by the amount of Chinese people. Almost 90% of all Master courses here are Chinese students. I have never met them before and I am still surprised how friendly, kind and supportive they are! I wondered why there are so few British people – the fact is that Master’s degree is not popular among the British.

Almost all the clichés about English people were proven – they are bad at foreign languages (they speak only English), they say “sorry” for everything, they drink a lot of beer and they are crazy football fans!

Is there something you miss in the UK?

I cannot express how much I miss healthy tasty home food. I have eaten outside for weeks and, to be honest, my stomach is literally dying. Almost all food here is fat, fried, and unhealthy. The best way to survive here is to cook healthy food by yourself and avoid eating outside.

There is also one more important thing (for girls) that I miss – quality beauty service. It is fact that the best beauty services are in Russia!

What is your advice to students who think about getting a Master’s degree abroad?

The first thing that I would definitely recommend is to start your preparation a year before. You need to find out if you can get a scholarship, if your GPA is good enough, if your CV is impressive enough and how much money you need to prepare for the whole abroad experience.

Moreover, it is important to choose the university and the program carefully considering your background and your plans for future. Finally, if it is your big dream to study abroad then just do it! Through hardship to the stars, even if there is something that stops you. Believe in yourself and make your dream come true!

Interview by
Anna Makhotkina