Yaovi Akpabli's Journey from Togo to Russia

From viewing movies nonstop to getting a scholarship to study for my master's degree in Russia, my story exemplifies tenacity, fortitude, and the revolutionary power of technology.

Yaovi Akpabli's Journey from Togo to Russia

Social media has an unquestionable ability to influence people's goals and destinies in the digital age. Deciding where and what to study is a very tricky and tough decision when it comes to exploring the whole world and choosing a country as a study destination. My interest in Russia was sparked by internet videos, and I used this power as the starting point for an incredible adventure.

My name is Yaovi Akpabli, an Open Doors scholar in my second year master in Intercultural Communication in a Global Information System. I was born and raised in Togo, a country located in west Africa. My interest in Russia started out as simple curiosity, prompted by the alluring pictures and narratives I came across on social media. I became engrossed in the vivid customs, historical sites, and rich cultural tapestry of Russia via YouTube, Instagram, and other platforms, which fueled my desire to see the country in person.

I was more and more devoted to Russia with time, despite the country's physical and cultural distance from Togo. What started off as a fleeting curiosity spurred by videos on social media sites developed into a comprehensive passion. The more I used virtual exploration to learn about Russia's rich history, varied culture, and stunning landscapes, the more it was clear that my curiosity was developing into something more - a genuine need to visit the country.

For me, the attraction of Russia was more than just curiosity; it touched me on a deeper level and gave me a feeling of possibilities and purpose. Every video I watched, every experience I took in, opened a door to a world that was simultaneously far away and alluringly close. My desire to go to Russia for higher studies became more vivid with every day, driven by an unwavering will to make my dreams come true.

Rather than deterring me, the cultural differences between Russia and Togo strengthened my drive. I saw them as chances for enrichment and personal development rather than as obstacles. My virtual exploration helped me understand the parallels and discrepancies between Russian and my own cultures, which deepened my awareness of variety and cross-cultural communication.

My love for Russia grew, and with it did my ambition to become completely immersed in its academic institutions, language, and customs. What had started off as a far-off dream eventually became a real objective that I followed with unyielding passion and focus. I got closer to my ultimate goal with every accomplishment, from sharpening my language abilities in Russian and English to negotiating the challenging scholarship application process. This dedication (in improving my language ability) has rewarded me with free education in Russia, especially in HSE through a competitive selection process.

I persevered in the face of innumerable obstacles, including financial limitations, administrative obstructions and the unpredictability of pursuing an education internationally. My faith in the transforming potential of education and the limitless prospects it presented inspired me to keep going and overcome setbacks with fortitude and courage.

I experienced a weird moment upon coming to Russia, realizing a desire that had previously appeared unachievable. As I set foot on Russian soil, I was welcomed by the friendly and welcoming Russian people and some African friends in addition to the breathtaking scenery and architectural marvels I had only seen in films.

I found that my time spent studying in Russia had a profoundly positive impact on me both on a personal and professional levels. I flourished in a dynamic academic environment, gaining knowledge and developing his abilities under the direction of distinguished academics and specialists in different fields, not limited to Linguistics, culture, translation .

My time in HSE is mostly shaped by my immersion into Russian culture outside of the classroom. I eagerly embraced any chance to learn more about the nuances of Russian life, eager to not only strive for academic brilliance but also to fully comprehend the essence of the nation i had long admired from a distance.

Making real connections with locals and fellow students during my time here in the HSE dorm and classes is one of the most significant components of my experience. I created relationships based on common interests and experiences that went beyond linguistic and cultural divides. My training in Intercultural Communication in a Global Information System equips me with knowledge and skills to understand Russian culture and how to cope with locals.  Whether participating in cultural exchange programs or having animated conversations during multicultural club’s events, I embraced the diversity of viewpoints and backgrounds, deepening my own awareness of Russia and its people.

Another highlight of my cultural immersion was seeing historical sites in Russia. Every visit gave me a different perspective on Russia's rich history and long heritage, from the imposing magnificence of the Kremlin, Moscow zoo to the eerie beauty of St. Petersburg's palace. Stepping back in time, i developed a greater respect for the tenacity and inventiveness of the Russian people, whose contributions have influenced the development of human civilization.

What stands out the most, though, may have been my culinary explorations while in Russia. I enjoyed every taste of traditional Russian food, from blini to borscht, relishing in the distinctive ingredients and deep flavors that embodied the nation's culinary legacy. In addition to satisfying my hunger, my meals and culinary exchanges helped me understand the cultural significance of food in Russian society and created bonds that went beyond simple subsistence. Whether visiting historical sites, having dinner with new acquaintances, or taking part in cultural exchange events, every encounter enriched my awareness of Russia and its rich history. I enthusiastically welcomed every chance to become entangled in the fabric of Russian life, expanding my own perspective in the process, far from being a passive observer.

As I get closer to finishing my master's program, I look back on my path with humility and thankfulness. My experience, which takes me from modest beginnings in Togo to the halls of academia in Russia, is a monument to the strength of desire, tenacity, and the seemingly endless possibilities presented by the digital age.

I am full of hope and aspiration for the future, wanting to use my training and experiences to positively influence my neighborhood and beyond. I am dedicated to giving back and encouraging others to follow their ambitions, no matter how far-fetched or difficult they may appear, whether via activism, education, or business.

As I approach the end of my time studying in Russia, I bring with me a deep respect for the cultural mosaic that distinguishes the nation in addition to the academic information I have acquired in the classroom. In addition to expanding my horizons, my experience overseas has permanently altered my identity, making me a global citizen who values variety and is dedicated to promoting intercultural understanding wherever my travels will take me.

Furthermore, my journey highlights the significant influence of the internet age in removing obstacles and increasing chances for international education and cross-cultural exchange. I was able to overcome the constraints of location by using the virtual world, and a few decades ago, I would never have imagined the information, resources, and contacts I could have. By doing this, I personify the revolutionary potential of technology to enable people and promote intercultural understanding on a worldwide basis.

In the end, my experience is undoubtedly a moving reminder that pursuing one's goals is a group effort spurred on by the strength of willpower and encouragement from others, rather than just an individual one. My incredible accomplishment encourages us to dream big, to never give up in the face of difficulty, and to take advantage of the virtual world's boundless potential to realize our dreams. Ultimately, as my path so eloquently demonstrates, dreams can and do come true, and the impossibly feasible can indeed become possible.

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Yaovi Akpabli