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.

Leandro Cassius


Moscow sometimes can be frightening and enormous, but it is such a beautiful place, with many amazing, different architectural styles that I simply don't see in Brazilian cities, and I really wanted to know every bit of it.

My friends often ask how I survived these four years, especially being from a sunny place like Brazil’, he says. ‘Basically, I focused hard on my final goal, told myself every day that going back was not an option, that I would not start over, and that this was my only chance to get a bachelor's degree.

I had many great teachers at HSE, so it is very hard to pick only a few names, but I think I need to mention Ekaterina Talalakina and Larisa Kovalenko for being awesome language teachers, as well as Ekaterina Entina and Ivan Krivushin, since they showed me how much I actually loved International Relations.

I loved the environment and was very happy to talk about my own country to Russian students. At first it might not seem that way, but we have a lot in common. I became the president of the club in June 2017 but had to leave early since it was my last academic year and I had to write my thesis and begin an internship in the company where I work now. I also participated in the buddy program with the Erasmus Student Network for a while. It's a great way to help foreigners that come to HSE, but we probably need more Russian students to engage in this programme too.

If you are going to live in the dorm, you will already have too much English in your everyday life, so try your best to get to know your Russian colleagues and explore Moscow with them. This will be way more interesting than going everywhere with foreign students who speak English all the time.