ISOIS ▸ Final reports

Host country:
Host institution:
Mobility type:
Program:
Faculty:
Ac. year:
Semesters:
Study level:
Language filled in:

Moscow State Institute of International Relations

Russian Federation 2018/2019 Partner universities

Personal data
Mobility type:
study

Faculty at MU:
Faculty of Social Studies

Another faculty at MU:
Faculty of Arts

Field of study:
International Relations

Level of study during period of placement:
Bachelor

Language used:
English

Summer/winter school?:
no

Period of studies:
autumn 2018

Period of placement (from-to):
2018-09-02 - 2018-12-21

Number of months:
4.00

Activities before my departure abroad
Where can information be found about courses taught at the foreign school?:
There are schedules on the website of the school, but most likely the coordinator will send the schedule to you as there might be some changes in the schedule.

Which documents were needed for acceptance at the foreign university?:
It was necessary to fill in and send them these documents:
- an application form, with basic information about you
- visa invitation form with your photograph
- nomination letter from the university
- copy of nomination letter

How far ahead did you have to organise your acceptance?:
Deadline for the application to the foreign university was on the 15th of May, three months before my departure, but I have completed the application a month before the deadline because the coordinator at the foreign university was not always available and therefore I started early in case I had any questions.

Did you need a visa?:
yes

Documents and materials needed for a visa:
- visa invitation form from my host university
- passport with a minimum of two free pages for visa and had to last at least for another year and half
- visa questionnaire filled in online, printed and signed by me
- colorful photograph in sizes 3,5 x 4,5
- documents about my insurance for the whole duration of my stay in the Russian Federation

Length of wait for visa:
One week

Fee for the visa:
No fee required as I had an invitation to the country via my host university

Studies
Did you have a Learning Agreement signed before your departure?:
yes

If not, why not?:

Before your departure did you know how your courses would be recognised by your home faculty?:
Yes, I have discussed it with the coordinator for partnership universities at my faculty, Dr. Veronika Zapletalová.

During your stay did you change your Learning Agreement?:
Yes, I have changed some of my courses upon arrival at the university and therefore I had to change my Learning Agreement.

When and how did course registration take place? Are there any restrictions? Possibilities of making changes?:
I had two weeks time to attend some courses and see which ones I liked and choose which I wanted to attend. I had the possibility to go to courses taught in English as well as Russian. Once I have chosen them I made changes to my LA in the online form as well as I was issued LA by my host university. No, there were no restrictions, I could have chosen any courses. I could make any changes within those two weeks.

Did you take any examinations at the foreign school?:
Yes, I did.

Does the school use the ECTS system?:
yes

If not then explain how the credits there were recalculated into ECTS:

Describe the teaching methods (theory, practical and projects) and assessment of students:
It depends on subject, but MGIMO professors like to examine their student's knowledge throughout the semester. Therefore almost every three weeks students have some kind of test. Presentations are very popular amongst the professors and therefore it may be a part of the final mark as well. Subjects with two or three credits may require you to do the only presentation as your final assessment, but subjects with more credits are more demanding and you have to pass tests, presentations as well as written essays. Subjects with more credits usually consist of lectures and seminars. Lectures are taught by the professor and seminars are based on student discussions.

Quality of teaching in comparison with home school:
Overall I would say that the quality of teaching at MGIMO is lower than my home university. Although the professors are very well educated, they are not as demanding as the professors at my home university.

How did you receive study materials?:
From lectures and seminars, on which I made notes or it was sent to us by the professor.

Can you recommend an interesting course/subject/teacher?:
Definitely, Anton Marushev and his course negotiations. It was one of the most useful subjects that I have ever taken. Also, professor Zagorski is a good and fair professor.

How well is the school library equipped?:
They have a lot of books, but that is all I know since I usually went there only to study my own materials.

Availability of computers, internet access, level of software needed, requirements on notebook:
There were some computers in the library, but I would advise to bring your own laptop with you. Internet access was not always great, although there was free wifi at school, but from some classrooms, you were unable to connect to it.

Options from printing and copying:
There is a special place at university where you can print and copy documents for a fee.

Does the foreign school/student organisation arrange special events for exchange students?:
no

If yes then what?:

How would you assess your integration with the local students (evaluation like in school from 1 to 5 with 1 as highest):
5

or describe in your own words:
The local students are not as friendly as you would hope, but there were some exceptions. Most of the subjects I have taken were in English and therefore I spent most of the time with the international students. However, I did attend a subject taught in Russian but did not manage to interact with the locals.

Practical questions on your placement
Where did you live?:
Dormitory

Cost of accommodation - monthly:
150 EUR

Additional comments to the price of accommodation (as to what the price includes):
The price was this high only for international students. Full-time students pay only 20 EUR per month. The price includes bed, bedding and linens, wardrobe, table, drawers, fridge, shared bathroom with your roommate and a shared kitchen with your floor. There is a cafeteria in the dormitory that is very cozy and cute as well as a study room. There is a laundry room but you have to stand in line and signed up for the washing machine. You can exchange your linens on daily bases.

Describe the equipment. Tips for future students – what should they bring with them?:
In terms of equipment, they provide you with the most important things. But at the end of the day you still have to buy yourself desk lamp, pots and pans and plates if you want to cook. I would recommend to bring cutlery with you and a mug. But there is an IKEA not so far away so you can a whatever you need for cheap there.

How and how far ahead should accommodation be organised?:
With your application, you only tick the box that you want to stay in the MGIMO dormitory. Therefore around three months before your departure.

What are the catering options?:
There is a cafeteria in the dormitory where you can buy something small to eat or snacks and coffee. There are four dining halls at the university from which some of them are opened in the morning and throughout the day.

What are the rough costs of groceries (compare with Czech prices):
They are fairly similar, sometimes cheaper, depending on what you eat.

Transport to location of placement:
The best form of transport in Moscow is metro, but to get to the university you need to take a bus from the metro station.

Rough prices for transportation:
0,35 Eur per one ride, it does not matter how long the ride is.

Tips for purchasing cheap tickets and other recommendations:
Buy Trojka card at any metro station and just top it up with money whenever you need it. There is a possibility to get a social card where you pay 5 Eur a month and get unlimited transport, but it takes one month to get it and so it is not very worth it to get it since the transport is relatively cheap anyway.

What are the local transport options (public transport, cycling, on foot, rough prices):
Metro, bus, trolleybus, taxi. Distances in Moscow are very big therefore it is hard to walk.

What kind of formalities have to be arranged before arrival, for example residence permit?:
Visa is the most important formality.

What health insurance did you use? (rough price, advantages, disadvantages, is it necessary to arrange insurance at the university other than your home (Czech) insurance?):
I used UNION insurance company. I was happy and paid around 3000 CZK per six months.

Did you have any experience with medical treatment abroad?:
Luckily, no.

Did you work during your studies?:
No.

What are the conditions for working for MU students?:
Your visa is only for studying therefore you are not permitted to work in the Russian Federation.

Tips for free-time activities:
Definitely go and discover Moscow such as VDKH, Kolomenskoye park, Zarjadnyj park, Carycino park, museums. Moscow is a beautiful city and it has plenty of options for free time activities.

Financial support and expenses
Total grant from Centre for International Cooperation:
70000 CZK

Monthly grant in CZK:
20000 CZK

Number of supported months:
3,5

Total number of months:
3,5

What other sources did you make use of to finance your placement?:
Most of the money I used from the grant that was sufficient.

If you received another grant, state which and how much in CZK:

 
Total fees associated with enrolment at the university:
0 EUR

a/ amount of enrolment fee:
0 EUR

b/ amount of tuition fees:
0 EUR

c/ amount of other fees (which):
300 EUR

 
What was your average monthly expenditure?:
550 EUR

a/ of which for accommodation:
150 EUR

b/ of which for catering:
250 EUR

c/ travel and recreation:
150 EUR

Any comments to the average monthly expenditure:

Recognition of foreign studies at the home faculty
How many credits did you gain during your studies (in the system of the foreign school)?:
20

How many ECTS credits were recognised at MU?:
37

Did you know in advance which of your courses would be recognised by your home faculty?:
Yes.

What problems did you have with recognition?:
None.

Overall assessment
Assessment of personal benefit (1 = excellent):
1

Assessment of academic benefit (1 = excellent):
3

Evaluate the information and support provided by the foreign school (1 = excellent):
4

Did you encounter any serious problems during your stay:
No, not really.

What would you recommend to take with you:
A lot of patience, as there is a lot of bureaucracy, open mind to explore a new culture. Something to remind you of home.

What most surprised you at the partner university in a positive way:
Well equipped university, many international students, visits of high politicians.

What most surprised you at the partner university in a negative way:
Bureaucracy.

Further comments:
Overall I would definitely recommend to go and try to study one semester in Russia. Although it was not always easy, the experience is worth it.