15 November 2021
«Honestly, I would have just changed the epidemic situation in order to fully enjoy this semester and discover St Petersburg». Incoming student Romain Rouillon shared his experience about online studying in the UMTE on the academic mobility program. The process, difficulties, expectations and advice for those who is on their way to join the program – in the story below.
Initially I chose the UMTE because Russia is a country that I have always found very attractive with its own history but also with its common one with some European nations. In addition, the vastness of the landscape, the empty lands, the geographical diversity and the culture played a determining role in my choice. I really wanted to visit St Petersburg, Moscow and discover Siberia. Also, within the European countries, Russia is recognized as a reservoir of knowledge in computer science, cyber security and mathematics. As these fields are particularly interesting to me, I would have liked to discover the place of these disciplines within your country.
Secondly, along with the University of CY PARIS, the UMTE is the university requiring a certain academic level to apply.
In fact, I wanted to take advantage of studying in the country that would bring me great cultural knowledge while being challenged at the academic level by a quality and quantitative program.
Overall, I really enjoyed the whole course. There was no course that I didn't enjoy. In the same sense, I can't openly write which teacher had the most impact on me out of respect for the whole academic team who were very present and interesting for me. However, I regret the fact that the History of International Relation course ended so early in the semester. This subject of cultural openness was a real plus at the geopolitical level which in my eyes was very interesting despite the gap that separates this way from the economics and finance program. Furthermore, I had a really good conversation about it with a professor and enjoyed our debates, lectures and presentations together.
I found that the courses were quite similar to the French education model. Lectures on the one hand and tutorials on the other are quite common in France. This helped me personally to find a quick reference point for good work. On the other hand, in France we do not have a continuous control. Indeed, the tutorials are compulsory but do not allow to accumulate points in order to validate the various subjects. On the other hand, they can withdraw points in case of absenteeism. The subjects are therefore validated in two stages: a first mid-terms and a final exam.
All the staff of the UMTE were very understanding, friendly and always available when we needed them. Whenever I needed to ask questions, I was always answered very quickly, clearly, with precise explanations but also with additional material to learn about or find answers to.
Also, the platform is very clear and has always allowed me to be informed of the assignments and instructions, as well as hosting almost the entire academic programme.
The biggest difficulty was the distance. With the epidemic situation, it was more complicated to rely on competent staff and to have academic discussions on certain issues. At the beginning of the semester, I often thought that it would be difficult to communicate easily.
Honestly, I would have just changed the epidemic situation in order to fully enjoy this semester and discover St Petersburg.
I would advise future students to make the most of the teaching and the teaching staff as they have given me a lot of academic input. I would add to that that they should also take more advantage of the stay and the different outings because it is very frustrating to look back and say that you missed a lot! (and especially us considering the context! so ENJOY!!!