EI: Hello, Anastasia! Tell us a little about yourself.
Anastasia: Hello. I am a student of MGIMO and University of reading. Currently I study at the dual degree program, after which this December I plan to obtain two master diplomas.
EI: what year You entered the University? What was the justification of the choice of this dual degree program?
Anastasia: To the University I originally enrolled in 2010 for training in the undergraduate program. Then, and finished it in 2014, filed papers in a master's degree at the same University. Because long wanted to learn to obtain Russian and English diplomas at the same time (for me it was, as they say now, challenge), of course, applied and got into the dual degree program. Interestingly, it opened just one year before the end of my bachelor, so I was very lucky, I'm not changing University environment, continued learning!
EI: Tell us about your learning experience in the two countries. Different year of study at MGIMO on-year in the UK?
Anastasia: Honestly, almost all (laughs). Approach to master training in Russia is radically different from the British, starting with such technical issues as various start and end dates of study, or freedom of choice for the learner, almost all subjects, and up to relationships with classmates and teachers. I noticed that my colleagues in the UK were highly motivated to acquire new knowledge. Perhaps the reason that the majority of foreigners going to grad school having already obtained some practical experience. So I was very interested to work with them on joint projects and even svezhevypechennye together to discuss topics over coffee (both projects and conversations over a Cup of something hot, by the way, very popular in the UK). As for the teachers, they try very hard so that students perceive them as elders. In the UK it is normal to meet with the teacher in a café, buying him/her a Cup of coffee and discuss, for example, the next Chapter of the thesis. At MGIMO I did not have such experience with even the most sympathetic teachers.
EI: have You Experienced any difficulties in learning English? What level of English You had to start the program and where You studied it?
Anastasia: No. Fortunately, had no such problems. I study English from 5 years, thanks to the parents began to engage with the tutor before entering primary school. Then, in parallel with regular private lessons develop skills in school and at MGIMO, where language training is also good. So long before coming to the UK I had a level of "proficiency". But I would not want to scare anyone, so how were the guys whose level of proficiency was lower. As I thought, those who often talked to native speakers, become much freer to communicate in English.
EI: please Tell us about experiences from the University of reading.
Anastasia: I liked it very much. 91-year-old University of reading is small by Moscow standards the town of reading 20 minutes and London, that provides very good transport links and the opportunity to travel, for example, in the British capital, at least every day. Despite the fact that the campus is located in the city, it is so big that is like a small village. There is everything: even the much-loved especially by young British bars and pub where you can often find teachers. Right on campus is the impressive size of the lake, with a huge number of all sorts of wild feathered inhabitants. Live and foxes, stray animal no. Many of the students helps to decrease the presence of nature is literally at hand. And it's nice to learn outdoors when the weather is nice. In cloudy or cool days makes a large library. Incidentally, just this summer spent repairing. Most of the time the library is open around the clock. It's essentially a free hand in terms of learning mode. In addition to the library, there are other places for training. The campus also has a fitness center, tennis courts, many fields for soccer, Rugby and other team games, everywhere there are Bicycle Parking. It stimulates exercise. There are small shops. If you wish to leave the campus, you can use the bus stop it is a few minutes walk from the centre of the campus.
EI: what, In Your opinion, are the benefits of the program. Did You have a favorite subject? What did You like best? Who studied with You at the program in reading (students from what countries)? Rich Lee was the student life?
Anastasia: In my opinion the most important advantage of the program, of course, was the simultaneous passage of training to obtain both Russian and British diplomas. This reduces the total training time for the whole year compared to the separate training in the Russian and British master's programs, at the same time, in my opinion, the quality and quantity of digestible material remains the same. Also among the advantages are the possibility to experience the differences that is master's level of education in Russia and great Britain in the same time period. For me it was a very interesting experience.
About learning in reading: favorite subject was, rather just a little more like certain topics or teachers. As all the items we have carefully chosen, basically everything was interesting. Most in the University of reading I liked the campus and rich program of so-called "workshops" (extracurricular activities, aimed at solving almost all problems that may face the students during and after school), plus I think I was very lucky with the guys we went to school together. Since I chose items from the two faculties, respectively, and were two categories of classmates. Among students of the faculty of law but the Russian guys were from Thailand, Greece, Cyprus, the Arab countries (Oman, Qatar), Latin America (Paraguay, Chile) and Africa. Unlike their classmates-financiers, virtually no Chinese. In business school reading as far as I know, in other British Universities, the majority of them. In addition, among my friends were two Britons, the girl from Canada, two boys from Trinidad and Tobago, Finnish, American, Egyptian. The richness of student life at the University of reading completely depends on the student. In principle, even on the same campus, as I said, quite a lot of places and events to socialize, or just "off". In my free time, we with my young man, with whom studied together, and our friends were going to the pub or in a bar called tea or barbeque parties (the British like to organize events where we can talk and eat at the same time). One day on campus was even a Grand fireworks display and a few balls. In addition, organized excursions and trips to other UK cities.
EI: What are You doing now? Do You feel that Your education at MGIMO and University of Reading helped You in your career?
Anastasia: At the moment I'm graduating in the dual degree program. Left state exams and defense of a thesis at MGIMO. Regarding assistance in career: during the master program I have acquired an impressive store of academic, practical and just life knowledge. And although directly working I haven't even begun, by the reaction of the same employers during the interview noticed that they are interested in people with experience in similar programs.
EI: Thank You very much for this interview! What would You like to say in closing to our readers?
Anastasia: Thank You. During training I never doubted that I made the right choice in terms of admission to the dual program, and learning it at the University of reading. So always when people ask me whether to go for this program if you have the opportunity, I definitely respond positively. This is a very valuable experience that allows you to expand your professional knowledge, and what could be more important, shared horizons, enriching the personality.