The student from the Artevelde University of Applied Sciences (Belgium), Islambek Gaytaev, was the participant of the program in the Autumn Semester 2021/2022.

The student from the Artevelde University of Applied Sciences (Belgium), Islambek Gaytaev, was the participant of the program in the Autumn Semester 2021/2022.

04 April 2022

The academic mobility program which is widely implemented by the universities all around the world, became an opportunity to plunge into the world of different nations not only for Russian students, but also for the foreign students to know about the culture and the study system of Russia.

Islambek, why did you choose UMTE for your academic mobility?
I chose to study at UMTE for my autumn semester abroad due to various reasons. Firstly, I wanted to visit and explore the city of Saint-Petersburg for its’ history, architecture, and culture, along with meeting the different people there. Secondly, I wanted to improve my Russian. I knew that English wouldn’t be spoken everywhere, so I could learn Russian in a completely Russian environment. I have often heard about life in Russia and, moreover, I wanted to know how different it is to study in modern day Russia compared to Belgium. 

What difficulties did you face during studying?
During my study here I found out that Russian was obviously spoken more than English, but with the help of the international office and my buddy there were no documents that were too difficult. Russian language has definitely helped me. 

What did you like about UMTE?
There were multiple things that I liked. I liked the modern building and smaller classrooms. The assistance that the international office gave was great and necessary for when I had questions regarding school or pretty much anything else. I also liked the teachers. ‘Strategic Management’ and ‘Marketing’ were my favourite lessons because they were quite interactive. The fellow students were also helpful speaking English. 

You had 5 courses during semester. What courses did you like the most? What teachers did you like the most? 
I liked ‘Strategic Management’ because of the good and clear explanations by the teacher that kept me interested. There were also tasks that we had to fulfill during the class that required quick and small groupwork like discussions or case studies. I also thought World economy was quite interesting. The teacher also explained things well and had interesting stories and insights about China.

Is there anything that you would like to change about this semester at UMTE if you had this opportunity?
I probably would have gone out more in the first few months. I waited for snow to visit most cultural places. When the winter snow finally came, I found out that I didn’t want to go outside when it’s freezing cold. Besides this, I don’t think I would have changed anything else; I was pleasantly surprised this semester.

Does studying in Russia differ from studying in Belgium? What is the difference?
There were definitely differences between my studies in Europe (Belgium) and Russia. I believe that assignments are different in Belgium. In most Belgian courses, we are presented with a big project that we have to complete. The teacher gives an assignment brief (document with explanation and deadlines) and during the semester the team has to regularly update their project to then finally upload the completed project at the end of the semester. 
Also, in Belgium we have most lessons in bigger groups. Classrooms are bigger and often lecture halls instead of classrooms. 

Would you like to recommend other international students to choose UMTE for their academic mobility? 
I would recommend it!
I think the cultural experience is definitely worth it, but the language barrier might be difficult for a foreigner. I think that they can definitely enjoy their stay if they don’t speak Russian, but not speaking it definitely limits some of their choices. Naturally, having a buddy or just one person who speaks Russian makes it a lot easier.

Do you have any advice for international students who want to participate in academic mobility at UMTE?
I will just present my ‘advice’ for different random things in a checklist:
Get warm clothing!
Supermarkets are quite cheap, it is better to go shopping there.
Drink bottled water instead of tap water!
The metro is the most useful transport method. 
Keep cash on you always.
If you are interested in the Hermitage, check in advance how everything works. You will need a lot of time to visit all of the different parts.

More Islambek`s experience