Interview with the first students of St. Petersburg State University having applied through International Russian Institute – Olga Papadopoulou and Georgy Sismanidis.
Two Greek students of the first year of the bachelor and master courses at the St. Petersburg State University who applied for the university through the International Russian Institute told the Media Center of the Russian Word why they chose Russia and how they are adapting.
Since the beginning of 2018, 5 applications for scholarships from the federal budget of the Russian Federation have been submitted to SPbU through International Russian Institute. They were accepted and approved by the Admission Committee.
The international cooperation department EDU-RUSSIA-RW (Thessaloniki, Greece) supported all applicants in processing and submitting the necessary documents, essays and motivation letters, as well as compiling the applicants’ portfolio. As a result, all 5 students got into the University, and now inspire others by setting new goals and going to a new dream.
The EDU-RUSSIA-RW International Cooperation Department and the International Russian Institute of St. Petersburg State University contacted two of the five lucky ones to find out if honey is as sweet as it seemed.
- Why did you decide to go to study in Russia, not another country?
Everything is very clear: Russia is a country with a great future and massive opportunities.
Last summer, the Russian Language and Culture Center Russian Word organized a study trip to two Russian universities. This trip was my real acquaintance with the world of the Russian language and the system of higher education in Russia. I was absorbed in thoughts about the unique Russian culture, the style Russian life, and also about the continuation of education in Russia. A great role in this played the Russian roots of my parents.
- What did you think when you got to know that you obtained the federal scholarship?
It was a tremendous joy, I could not wait to start!
I could not believe it. This was my dream finally coming true.
- What were your first impressions of the university, of the professors?
I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the university. Professors have pleased me even more: the attitude to the students is just great, any problems are solved easily and efficiently.
The unique building of the university made a very vivid impression on me. The teachers turned out to be very nice people who support and help in any situations, and not just educational ones.
- What programmes did you take?
I chose political science. We learn foreign languages, political anthropology, information sciences, the history of political science, the history of political doctrines, sociology, religious studies, and cultural studies.
I chose a master programme in biology.
- What is your favorite subject? Are there any problems?
Most of all I like sociology. The most difficult at this stage is the discipline “political anthropology.”
There are a lot of professional subjects: molecular biology, microbiology, etc. My thesis will be devoted to microbiology. I have no real problems with anything; however, all subjects require due attention and diligence.
- Tell us about the living conditions in the hostel. With the guys from which countries did you become friends?
I got very lucky with the hostel – the unit is comfortable and cozy. I live with three more students from Russia, Belarus and Turkey.
I can say that I was very lucky too. I live in a beautiful and comfortable room, freshly renovated. My roommates are girls from Kazakhstan, Israel and Turkmenistan.
- Are there any problems with the Russian language, and how do you overcome them?
There were no special difficulties with the Russian language, but the scientific style of lectures should be got used to.
Although my mother also speaks Russian, it was a bit difficult for me at the first lectures. But I speak better and better every day. A lot of help is daily live communication with native speakers of the Russian language. A good help is listening to Russian music.
- What is your favorite place in the city and why?
My favorite place is the Hermitage. It is very crowded but closer to the night it becomes incredibly atmospheric.
I do not have any favorite places yet, the whole city is incredible!
Who would you like to thank for the opportunity to study at one of the most prestigious universities in Russia?
I would like to express my gratitude to all those who took part in my admission to St. Petersburg State University: my parents, the head of the All-Slavic Union of Greece Natalia Saparova, employees of the Russian Language and Culture Center Russian Word, who helped me to prepare documents, as well as employees of the International Russian Institute of St. Petersburg State University.
I think that this chance is given once in a lifetime. I would especially like to thank the Russian Word Center and personally its director Tatyana Zhuravleva who gave us this amazing opportunity. But our dreams could not come true without help of D.Ptuyshkin, director of St. Petersburg State University Language Testing Center.
What would you wish to other Greek students who are choosing an institution to continue their studies?
I sincerely wish all Greek students to explore the possibilities of Russian higher education. I wish them good luck in enrolling in the competition and continuing their studies only at SPbU.
If they like Russian culture, the great history of Russia, its rich language, then Russia and St. Petersburg are the only choice for education. The most important thing is to love what you are doing.
And we once again congratulate you on your success!
- Evangelia Guleta (advertising and public relations / master programme),
- Maria Anna Gkhekga (tourism / master programme),
- Olga Papadopulu (biology / master programme),
- Eleni Constantoni Fanuri (linguistics / master programme),
- Georgios Sismanidis (political science / bachelor programme).
We wish you all good luck!