Stresses foreigners who study in Russia
As more and more countries develop, together with Russian study abroad programs, universities are gradually becoming international, but student life remains largely the same, Russia. Authors multilingual portal RBTH describe the most common cultural shocks faced by foreign students in Russia, as well as give some tips on how to overcome them.
A trip abroad to study and adapt to the new learning environment is never easy. However, in Russia such adaptation can be especially difficult problem. When it comes to the attitude towards foreigners, Russia - not Amsterdam.
For the majority of foreign students at local universities - a relatively new phenomenon. As more and more countries develop, together with Russian study abroad programs, universities are becoming more and more international, but student life remains largely Russian.
Authors multilingual portal RBTH describe the most common cultural shocks faced by foreign students in this, at first glance, a strange country, and give some tips on how to overcome them.
No one says in English
One of the first shocks facing every foreigner in Russia is the fact that very few people spoke in English. Some universities even employees of department on work with foreign students have very limited English.
Since the majority of students coming to Russia in the framework of exchange programs, had never studied the Russian language, and their knowledge is often limited to just a few key words or phrases, the language barrier can be a big problem. However, do not treat it too seriously. Instead, try to find someone, preferably, a Russian student, who will help you get and go through all the important procedures that have to perform upon arrival.
If you do not know anyone who is ready to help you, you need to find out whether your university branch of the social network ESN or equivalent Student Association, designed to help international students.
When Lee, a graduate student of political science from China, first came to Moscow, he did not know a single word in Russian. A month later, he was picked up simple words and phrases, but most importantly, he said, it is a certainty: "It may sound awful, but when people do not understand me, I just spoke to them in English up until they either left me alone, or also began to try to communicate in English.
In an extreme case, simply armed with a mobile application for the transfer and practice in the sign language. This ability can be very useful if you are a foreigner in Russia.
The bureaucratic nightmare
The Soviet Union was known for his nightmarish bureaucratic procedures, from the annoying paperwork to the endless waiting in the queue and unfriendly civil servants. This chapter of Russian history, perhaps for a long time and forever ended, but, alas, in the bureaucratic machine, little has changed.
In fact, the first two weeks in Russia can be like an endless stupid game with paperwork and dashes back and forth between the various officials of the university administration and public services. The only prize in this game - to collect all 17 pieces of paper, are vital to survival and legalization in the country. Daria, a Bulgarian student who studied law at Moscow State University. University for more than five years old, still has problems with the Russian bureaucracy. "From this it is impossible to escape, there is always some kind of reference that you want to sign, and it always takes much longer than necessary."
Faced with all this, you might want to first flight back home, but do not panic, it's not as scary as it seems at first glance. The key to ensuring that all your documents are in order, is patience, meeting deadlines and working hours of officials, and most importantly - always arrive early.
And one last tip: when you finally have all the necessary documents, in any case, do not lose them, because to achieve re-issuance is guaranteed to be twice as painful.
When people say that Russia - a cold country, they often have in mind not only the harsh Siberian climate. Russia regularly takes top positions in the index, "the least friendly countries" and the apparent coldness of the people often referred to foreigners as one of the main obstacles.
For Rachel, an American student, who had come on an exchange program at the Moscow Higher School of Economics, this obstacle was a huge cultural difference. "When I went to Russia, I knew that the people there will not be as warm and talkative, like the Americans, - she says. - But the strangest thing for me was the fact that people here will never apologize, if by chance you driven on the street. "
Indeed, it was hard not to notice certain trends in the first acquaintance with Russian students: no one says "hello" and smiling at you in the corridors of the university, no one gets a brief conversation in the audience, and even at parties, people generally held in small groups. "Russian seem cold, it's hard to argue, and stereotypes that have developed at us in the West, certainly contribute to that image," - said Boris, a Frenchman of Serbian origin, a student of St. Petersburg University. While all of these stereotypes may at first glance seem fully justified, it is nothing more than a facade. Throughout the turbulent history of the country Russian got a lot of lessons, a lot of reasons to be afraid of strangers. Therefore, they rarely smile or tie conversations with random people on the street. And it's not that they are cold or rude, they are just not so easy to trust foreigners.
Although the atmosphere here may seem too harsh a foreigner to make new friends or acquaintances, it is definitely worth any effort, in one voice say Rachel and Boris.
"In a sense, it is very difficult to break the ice, but the challenge worth taking, because as soon as the Russian people once open in front of you, you will remain friends for life", - said Boris.