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.

Giang Dinh


My destiny brought me to Russia. During my studies in Vietnam, I dreamed to study abroad in one of Western countries. One day I found information about a scholarship fully funded by the Government of Russia. That was such a good offer. Thus, I decided to apply and got it. After five years of studying in a Bachelor programme in Kursk I am now doing my Master’s at HSE. I can say that receiving an education in Russia is one of the best choices I have made in my life.

I chose HSE because of its high quality of training and research. Currently, I am studying International Relations, which is ranked in Top 50-100 by the QS – World University Rankings this year.

When I just arrived in Russia, I did not know anything about Russian language so I could not communicate with people. I think Russian language is the most complicated challenge for any foreign student. Russian language is very beautiful but difficult to learn. Besides, I was homesick and experienced cultural shock (for example, ‘keep smiling’ is not good idea). That time was hard. After living in the country for some time, I got to understand the people well and adapted to their culture. Last semester I applied the course ‘Exploring Russian Culture’ organized by HSE and Russia beyond the Headlines and learnt many new interesting things about Russian traditional and contemporary customs and manners that I never knew before.

I really like studying at HSE where I can meet many leading Russian scholars. All of professors and lecturers are very kind and always willing to help any student who needs to do research. Moreover, my Russian friends are very polite and patient. They help me understand more about the subject of the lectures, which improves my knowledge of Russian language in that subject. Thus, I feel that the university has a very supportive and motivating environment. During studies at HSE, I learn and practise my skills in applying methodological approaches to international problems, expand my academic and professional contacts and understand deeply different cultures. These things will help me much to find a good job in the future.