Personal experience: Studying at UNECON

I think it was about June 2015, that I got the confirmation that I’ll study for one Semester at the Saint Petersburg State University of economics. I was very excited! But also a little skeptical… especially about all the paper work, that was waiting for me. If you want to study as a foreign student in Russia there’s no way to avoid paperwork, but the team of the unecon international department helped us each step of the way. The international Department is always the most important contact point for the international students.

The coordinator, who is responsible for your country in particular, will provide you with all the documents and information before you come to Russia. In my case they answered always very quickly and I felt very well been taken care of. In advance every student has to decide for courses and a dormitory. Concerning the courses – don’t take it too seriously, you’ll still have the opportunity to change courses until a certain deadline during the semester and they’ll still add courses to the list. The courses are thought in English by visiting professors from different countries in groups of approximately 20-30 students. One session takes 4 hours and a course usually takes one week. Every professor asks for different performances – very often it’s a presentation in a group, but also essays/ papers or an exam or even all of it can be asked for. The big advantage of that system is, that there’ll be very busy weeks where you might have 2 courses each day, but then again there’ll be weeks where you have much spare time for visiting museum, going on trips to the beautiful suburbs of Saint Petersburg or bigger trips to others parts of this enormous country.
Concerning the dorms– there are two different houses for the foreign students, the 7th and the 8th dorm, both located in the very heart of the city. The 7th dorm is the renovated one – more single rooms with own bathrooms, looks newer and some would say nicer, shared kitchens, is a little bit more expensive. The 8th dorm still has a little bit a nostalgic soviet style since it’s not renovated yet; there are mostly double rooms, shared bathrooms, shared kitchens, chill out areas with couches and it turned out that the parties are most of the times going on in the 8th. The dormitories are quite well secured, besides the cameras on the hallways, there are “dormladies” who register visitors without the Propusk and who help us, if we have questions, although they don’t speak English that well. The hallways and bathrooms etc. are cleaned by a cleaning lady; also they provide fresh linen every week. Both dormitories have laundries on every floor. And if you have friends coming over for visiting, they can also stay in the dorms.
The arrival: very well organized! We were picked up at the airport by a “buddy” and brought to the dorms by taxi. Already on the first day we got all the needed documents which include the students ID, a magnetic card to enter the campus and the dorm and a “propusk” for the dorm, which is an ID that proves that you’re living in the dorm. But they need photos for all the documents, so I recommend bringing already some pictures with you! Also they have agents of mobile phone operators there, where you can buy Russian sim cards; the mobile services are really cheap in Russia.
During the arrival week the buddies organized different events where we could get to know the other international students, the buddies and also the city. I want to use this opportunity to underline that the students at unecon are very motivated and enriched the stay a lot by organizing many great events!
After the arrival week the courses started. Besides the English speaking courses, everybody has Russian language classes 3 times per week for 3 hours on their appropriate language level. Of course there will be sometimes an overlapping with the English courses, but the Russian teachers know about that problem and understand that you have to attend the English course. For the English classes all materials are uploaded and available on a facebook group, where they’ll also inform you about everything else that’s going on at the university and in in the city. For the Russian classes you either have to buy the requested books or get them from the universities library.

So much for organizational matters, but of course Saint Petersburg offers many opportunities how to spend your spare time and it’s impossible to tell about all of them, but some things I want to tell you about. Most of the students in my semester were interested in doing sports. Only 5 minutes away by walking is “FitFashion”. It’s an upper class fitness club with everything you can ask for, they offer a lot of courses and sauna is also inclusive. The price depends of course on the current exchange rate and on the period of time for how long you want to subscribe the contract.
The next adive is “business lunch”. Almost every restaurant offers business lunch from about 12.00 to 16.00, just check out the places around the university and ask for business lunch, it’s probably the lowest priced opportunity to eat and yet most of the times very delicious. At Sennaja Ploschad is a market, where you can get fresh vegetables, fruits, meat and other groceries very affordable, if you prefer cooking instead of going out. Then there are two things that I want to recommend you. Firstly Time Cafes. It’s a concept I haven’t seen before anywhere else. People come to the places and will pay depending on the time they spend there. During that time they can consume as much as they want of what is offered – which usually are different cookies and tees, coffee, hot chocolate, small sandwiches, and sometimes even shisha. Those places are always very cosy, people meet there to chat, to play board games, to make music, to work, whatever they feel like. Unfortunately those places are also a little bit hidden, just google them or ask some people. The second thing that I want to recommend is related to the nightlife in Saint Petersburg. Of course there is a countless number of bars and clubs in the city that are definitely worth a visit. But Saint Petersburg is famous for its jazz music, so you should definitely go to a jazz bar and enjoy the live jam session! All the other great places, museums, and so on you’ll discover on your own, there are many many things to see and once you made yourself comfortable, time will start to fly by!

Теги: Личный опыт

Последнее обновление 24 августа 2016

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