STUDENT AMBASSADOR LOST IN RUSSIA – IRISHA (BELARUS)
As an International Student Ambassador, I was given a unique opportunity to go to Russia and represent the University of Tartu there at the educational fairs. Our trip was covering Moscow and St. Petersburg and lasted 6 days. I was super excited because I have visited those cities before and I was eager to be going there again. We set off for Moscow from Tallinn.
What can I say about Moscow? Huge city! Some people say that my hometown Minsk is big, but for me Minsk was nothing in comparison to Moscow. The first day when we arrived it took us 2 hours to get to our destination. Later, happy to have reached, we went to eat and explore Moscow at night. This was our free evening and we wanted to enjoy the picturesque views of Kremlin and Red Square.
The next morning, we went to Lyceum number 1547. There I was giving my first presentation as an Ambassador, speaking about Education in Estonia and about Business Administration program at the University of Tartu. At first, I was a little bit nervous, but shortly that feeling was gone and I built a great rapport with the audience. After the presentation, we had a chance to speak with Lyceum’s representative and I got so surprised that this school was very prestigious and famous for their graduates. In fact, in order to get there, you have to go through a tough competition, and to remain as a student your grades should be very high. Moreover, this Lyceum is a great example of the school which respects traditions while implementing technologies in their education. For instance, the day we were giving our presentations, pupils were studying in accordance to Pushkin’s schedule. This means that students were studying subjects like old Russian Literature, Theology, History of that time (year 1811) and many others.
In the evening, same day, we were glad to be invited to the Estonian Embassy in Moscow, and watched an Estonian movie, called “Supilinna salaselts”, which took first place at Zurich Film Festival 2015. If you have never seen this movie, you should definitely do so, especially if you want to enjoy the views of Tartu and find out some Estonian secrets ;)
The next day was more or less free and I decided to have a walk around the city. I must say that we were living in a hotel which was quite close to the city center, so I thought that there would be no chance for me to get lost. However, first steps I made out of the hotel were in the wrong direction, so it took me half an hour to get to Red Square, instead of the promised 10. Nevertheless, my objective was to get to Pushkin Museum. I passed next to Red Square and was walking next to Moscow River and a huge traffic jam (those are very common in Moscow). At the end, all tired and hungry, I came to the museum and saw this:
Was sad to say this, but I had no time to wait in a line, so I had to postpone my visit to the museum for another time. Even though, I don’t regret going there as I had a chance to enjoy the streets of Moscow and see how the life is flowing in the city.
Saturday was a big day for us – educational fair started. We located our stand next to the entrance and were waiting for people. I was really glad to share my experience and answer the questions of our potential friends and maybe even classmates. The day was long and exhausting, yet I enjoyed speaking to people so much. It was an amazing experience, which I will never forget.
We took a train from Moscow to St.Petersburg in the evening. The next day we had another fair, but in the other city. It was located in a very beautiful hotel with an amazing indoor room. This time it was more crowded. People were nice and polite, and I was glad to hear about their motivation to come to Tartu for a visit! After the fair, I had some free time to enjoy lovely Petersburg by night!
If you are currently studying in Tartu and you have never been to St.Petersburg – it is definitely the time to change something in your life! St.Petersburg is the cultural and reading capital of Russia! The moment you step out of the bus/train you feel intelligence in the air! I love to bring the example of priorities for people living there: for one night I saw 6 book stores open 24/7 and only 1 food store open for the same time. Here you can see some nice shots that I took:
And it is me, in front of Saint Isaac’s Cathedral:
Monday was our last day in Russia. We had two Univesrty visits left and one of them was Saint Petersburg State University. The place was extremely beautiful. In fact, Saint Petersburg State University is the oldest higher education institution in Russia and the faculty we visited is located in Smolny Convent, in which you feel like in the museum, as all the walls are richly decorated and everything looks very classy.
After such a saturated trip, we went to the Baltic Station and headed home.
This trip left really good memories for me. I would specially thank Eveli Soo, Daria Arkhipova and the University of Tartu for providing me with such an opportunity! Being an ambassador is something extremely special!