A student of the double degree master’s program at IPACS RANEPA shared her impressions of studying abroad

January 12, 2023

Alisa Starikova, a 2nd year student of the Faculty of International and Regional Research, spoke about her expectations, emotions and impressions from studying in France at ICES.

“Studying at the French L’ICES was a great discovery for me. A small but cozy institute, friendly and kind students, high-level teachers. My program is a Russia – Europe: political and geopolitical research. Educational program of double diploma jointly with ICES (France), so my studies consisted of only pairs in French, with a short break in English. Of course, studying on a par with French students is incredibly difficult, but it is an excellent experience. You study absolutely all the subjects that the guys do, up to the “research methodology”. Thus, it is possible to draw an objective parallel between studying in Russia and abroad. The burden on French students is incredible. Foreign students were asked the question “Are we satisfied with our studies?”, someone answered that it was easier than they initially imagined. However, I suggested that mobility and a double degree are two completely different systems of education, so it is impossible to compare them.

It is very important to have a good level of the language, otherwise the trip can turn into a difficult test. I met wonderful people from different countries and, of course, French. With many of them we continue to communicate, sharing memories of the time spent together. Exams in French language are difficult to pass. Since there is no “ticket” system in Europe as in Russia, so you literally prepare for everything. On the exam itself, you can be asked any question within the program, and this makes you very nervous.

When leaving to study abroad, there are certain expectations: communication with native speakers, learning another culture, broadening one’s horizons. However, upon arrival, there is a “honeymoon” when you are happy about everything and everything seems so beautiful and wonderful, and then you are faced with a “cultural shock”. You are annoyed by the lack of a familiar language environment, differences in culture, lack of understanding of local features. In this phase, the most important thing is to focus on the main purpose of the trip – study, opportunities, impressions and experiences, as well as incredible acquaintances that will remain for the rest of your life”, Alice told us.

Studying abroad on exchange: within the framework of double degree programs and academic mobility – this is a huge opportunity for our students and a growth area. We are sure that more and more students will participate in these programs offered by the IPACS.

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