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Regular version of the site

Foreign students visited Russian school

International Student Support and ESN HSE are making sure foreign students get plenty of cultural experiences while in Russia. Last month they organized a school visit and introduced foreign students to one of the most important parts of the Russianeducation system.

Every international student who has come to a Russian university feels the difference between the higher education system in Russia and in his or her motherland. However, university is only a part of a huge structure that includes not only universities and colleges, but also primary schools, high schools and much more. That is why on Wednesday, March 29, we invited our exchange students to visit an ordinary Moscow school to see everything for themselves and also help children to practice their English.

The event was organized with the help of HSE alumna, Katerina Shmeleva, who takes part in the ‘Teacher for Russia’ program and is now teaching culturology at school
 №554. During the event, international students from Germany, Portugal, Ghana, India, Italy, Cameroon, Denmark, Poland, etc. met with schoolchildren from grades 6 to 8. The meeting was held in a form of a “roulette chat”: internationals sat at 7 tables and every 7 minutes Russian schoolkids moved clockwise from one table to another. HSE students found out what teens in Russia are interested in by answering their questions. The most complicated part was the changing of the tables; you can’t even  imagine how tough it is to pause the talk!

Our exchange student from Italy, Camilla, tells: “Kids are always the best teachers. A 15 y.o. girl told me that she really wants to go to study abroad but her parents are worried about that...Well, what can I reply? I bet that my parents are still kind of worried about me being in Moscow. And I am 24.”


After the chat, the kids conducted a tour around their school’s main points: auditoriums, canteen, and, of course, the gym; which we couldn’t leave without having a basketball game. During the excursion students shared their memories about school years and compared Russian school to their own.

Another HSE student, Inês from Portugal says: “I was surprised by the fact that kids in Russia have mandatory drawing/painting lessons at school. We don’t have that in Portugal but it would be really nice if we did”.

During this visit our international students truly got the chance to discover some things they never knew before: from subjects that Russian students have, to their dreams and goals in life. This meeting has given lots of inspiration to everyone who participated in it and now we are waiting for the next visit to happen!

Prepared by Irina Klimova, Daria Istomina and Croix Hebert.