Moscow becomes like a city from fairy tale

When I was getting ready for my Exchange Semester in Russia I didn't know what to expect, because I think I was the first person from my university who was doing this exchange. I thought that I will be on my own, but then I received e-mail from my buddy. I was surprised and happy that there will be someone to help me out, but still I didn't really know that there is a buddy system and that besides helping us out upon our arrival, they are organizing all different kind of activities.

At the beginning I had some difficulties, because I was supposed to study in Russian and not with other international students on IBS program. However, in the end everything went fine, and thanks to my buddy, Dean’s Office and International Center, I was successfully transferred to IBS program. The only thing that didn't work well in Russia since I came was getting student card and metro cards. It was time-consuming. I understand that paperwork takes time, but I think some things like that could've been done more efficiently. In addition, when it comes to metro cards, that we were waiting for almost 3 months, I think that you should warn students about that right away and just suggest them to buy metro cards with 60 rides, because it is not possible to get metro card that fast. I was buying smaller metro cards all the time, because no one told me that it takes that much time. I was excited that I am going to studying in English and also have Russian language classes. Main reason why I wanted to come to Moscow is improving my Russian. I took 18 hours per week. I can definitely say that I improved it so far, but I still think it could've been even better.

The only problem is that we are not that much in touch with Russian students. However, thanks to my amazing Russian teacher Larisa I learned a lot. She is the best Russian teacher I ever had and one of the best teachers in general. She is real example how a teacher should be. I took few different subjects in IBS program, and I would say that I am quite satisfied, but I have to say that one of the, Corporate Social Responsibility, is really poor. I expected that it will be interesting, but teacher doesn't really know much. I don't know what is the real problem behind it, maybe English or not enough of experience, but I am really disappointed. Strategic Management and Marketing Management professors are nice, interesting and always well-prepared for the class. When it comes to Doing Business in Russia, that is something that I was really interested in, but 6 hours per week is just too much, especially when some of professors were just reading what was written on the slides.

At the end we were supposed to write report and for all those ours we spent in DBR classes we didn't get any useful input. I think DBR is really useful subject, but it should be revised. Still I have to say that we had few nice professors as well. I would like to mention our dormitory too. It is really nice dorm and ladies who are on our floor are nice as well, especially Galina. Kitchen is not as not, it is usually dirty and overcrowded, and it would be better if international students had fridges in their rooms too, because it is just impossible for 10 people to use one fridge. Dormitory guards should be more polite. All in all, I am happy that I had chance to come here, gain some new experience, improve my Russian and meet new people. I can say that I am satisfied. I love Moscow, it is really nice city, which you can explore for years. I wish I had chance to stay here for a year. Winter in Moscow is ruff, but as soon as the weather gets nicer and warmer Moscow becomes like a city from fairy tale. I will miss Moscow and people I met.!

Tamara Stjepanovic Downer

Exchange undergraduate student from Singidunum University (Belgrade, Serbia)

Spring semester 2014