Feeling lonely is an extremely unpleasant experience to anyone. When you are in another country, far away from home, relatives, and friends, it is especially important to navigate loneliness and be able to get the best from the intercultural exchange. While cultural difference come at you from all angles in a foreign country, everyone can turn their international study into an unforgettable and rewarding experience. Below, international students of SUSU share their ideas on how to ease emotional stress abroad and “find yourself” in another country.
Upasak Bose, India
My love and curiosity for Russian culture and history brought me to this country in 2018. I arrived at Simferopol (Crimea) for a Russian language preparatory course. After completion of my language program, I went to Chelyabinsk for an English-taught Master's degree programme in Economics. Choosing Russia was one of the best decisions in my life. Everyone I met here has been so kind and helpful. Despite not knowing the language properly, I’ve never had to face any problem in Russia. My SUSU tutor has helped me to get adjusted to the environment right from the time I landed at the airport, and still supports me whenever I need any kind of help. SUSU teachers are incredibly supportive and are ready to help anytime. I had a chance to visit a few factories in Chelyabinsk as practical training during our first semester, thanks to the initiative taken by our teacher. I’ve also visited Chelyabinsk State Museum, ballet dancing, and concerts and enjoyed them a lot. Being a member of the international students association, I have a chance to meet and interact with students from various countries, and this experience has been truly enriching. It is also an honour and privilege for me to have the opportunity to represent my country (India) in various events. I was born in a city where the lowest temperature during winter is only about 15 degree Celsius, so it has been fascinating for me to witness such magical snowfalls all over Chelyabinsk. I love Russian food, its culture, people, value system, and beliefs.
India and Russia have been close friends since the Soviet times, and continue to share their friendship concerning defence, trade, education, and culture. I’m planning to do my doctorate (PhD) programme here because I would love to work and do something for this country and its people.
Thank you, Russia for everything!
Thu Ha, Vietnam
I’m a girl who always wants to challenge herself. So, I said to myself, Russia here I go. In the beginning, I thought it would be an exciting experience. You start an entirely new life in a foreign country, learn a new language, taste new food, make friends from all over the world and so on. But the first pancake is always lumpy, as Russians say. During my first days in Russia, I felt lonely, scared, and homesick. But thanks to the wonderful people whom I met, my language teacher Ms Tatyana Khlamova and the Association of International Students, I started to adapt to the new environment. Time flies so fast! Now I’m a first year Master’s student in Tourism. I’m the only international student in my class, which is another challenge for me. And I’m not scared anymore. I believe in myself and that I can do everything if I want to. I think doing the same things every day is boring. I choose a different life full of adventures. Now I can definitely say that I don’t regret about having chosen Russia. Thank you, SUSU, for being part of my youth.
Maksud Kadirov, Uzbekistan
I believe SUSU is one of the best Russian universities. And for me, it’s the best. SUSU is about tremendous opportunities for students. The first year of study at SUSU was a bit challenging, but my teachers and classmates helped me stay on the right track. They keep supporting me every day. The Association of International Students is a fantastic place offering plenty of sport and cultural events. These events unite international students, and we feel like a family. Last December the Association celebrated its fifth birthday, and we had great fun. I’m also a member of SUSU Volunteer Centre, and I’ve already participated in almost 20 volunteering events. These student communities are all about making new friends, meeting ambitious and wonderful people, and teamwork.
Chess and draughts have been my favourite games since childhood. At SUSU I’ve become a captain of a chess team and draughts team. I’ve also initiated the opening of a chess club at SUSU with about 15 international students currently being members of the club. I believe that SUSU gives students endless opportunities to get over homesickness and enjoy student life. I’m happy to be part of South Ural State University.
Yaro Abubakar, Ivory Coast
When I first came here, I felt lost and confused and didn’t know what to start with. But wherever I went, I saw people smiling and ready to help me with all my questions. I wasn’t sure if I could adapt to Russian culture easily, but I was amazed by people’s attitude and their great hospitality. I’m a sociable person, and I feel comfortable here. At SUSU, I feel at home.