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.

Sabilla Ramadhiani Fridaus


After the Preparatory Year, I’m going to enroll in Public Law Master's programme. It is taught both in Russian and English and focuses on international law. I chose this programme because I love to analyse the policy and laws. Besides, I think it is a good idea to learn about the experience of other countries.

When I told my friends I was going to study in Russia they were really surprised. They said that it is co cold here. And it is, of course. They also said that the people are very cold and unsmiling. But that is so not true. It is quite different. My friends in the dormitory are Russian and they are very kind-hearted and warm. I often post on Instagram to show what Russia and Russians are like.

 Moscow is absolutely amazing – there is so much culture here. Even the metro is like a museum (although it can be quite crowded in the rush hour).

I have already been to the Tretyakov Gallery, which I liked very much. I have also gone to Tsaritsyno twice. It is such a beautiful place! Generally, Moscow has a lot of beautiful places. The New Year fireworks in the centre of Moscow were amazing. And I love ice cream in GUM (Central Shopping Mall in the Red Square)!

Russian language is difficult but it’s very interesting. The main difference from my language is the notion of gender. Russian is one of the languages acknowledged by the UN and that is why I decided to learn it. There are several Russian language courses in Indonesia, especially in Jakarta. There are people in Indonesia who love Russian language – there are Russian language programmes at some Indonesian universities. I actually took a short Russian language course in Indonesia before coming here. I also learnt a bit about Russian culture from my teacher – for instance, she told us about the tradition of cooking pancakes. By the way, I love the Russian ‘blini’ (pancakes)!

At HSE, we have very good Russian language classes – 6 hours a day. The teacher is great, so the classes are very interactive, fun and highly productive. My roommates speak Russian so I learn from them too. Russian people speak really fast so you have to listen very carefully in order to understand what they are saying. I also try to watch Russian movies and series to learn the language and the culture. Russia is a unique country and I really love it!