What’s it like to study in Russia? Why HSE? The answers are, of course, different for everyone. We’ve asked some of our current international students to write about their experiences, in order to give a better idea of what it’s like to study at HSE. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at inter@hse.ru.

Camilla Allegrucci


Before enrolling at HSE, I had already lived in Moscow for a year, working and studying at Moscow State University in the Faculty of Foreign Languages. In fact, my Bachelor’s degree is in Modern Languages and Cultures.

One day, when I had already received a scholarship to study in Nottingham and Lisbon, I was walking down Myasnitskaya and decided to enter HSE’s International Admissions Office and ask for some information. One of my Russian friends had told me about the Master’s programmes taught in English at HSE. The staff at the International Admissions Office gave me a nice introduction to the Master’s programme in Governance of Science, Technology, and Innovation. At the beginning, I wasn’t really sure about applying to it, but later on, after the open house day, I thought it could be interesting and could help benefit my father’s business.

My family wasn’t really happy about my decision to continue living in Moscow and my refusal to move to England, but now they don’t regret my choice. I’m happy to have discovered a new world. I didn’t know about STI and the innovation environment earlier, but now I can clearly see how to merge my passion for the fashion industry and my knowledge of sustainability and policy. I have also gained work experience that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get in the EU. Additionally, I have improved my Russian skills quite a lot and have expanded my network internationally. I think I have more interesting contacts now in Moscow than in Italy.

Moscow is my love, I adore this city! The energy and ideas, the creativity and the crazy meetings you can have every single day are innumerable!!! I love the food, the culture, the museums and cultural activities, the people and the language. Of course, winter is pretty hard for a student from southern Europe, but the weather in summer is usually great and Russians know how to enjoy it. I do believe that to truly enjoy Moscow you need an intermediate level of Russian skills, because many things can be understood only through real communication with ‘babushkas’ and other locals.

Right now, I’m working as a journalist at L’Officiel Italia. I still feel like I need to improve my knowledge of the digital marketing sector. I’d like to start my own blog for Russian students of Italian and to launch a start-up in tourism for Russians in Umbria (my region in Italy). I will miss zapekanka when I leave Moscow!