Colombia, sophomore, Institute of International Relations, Kazan (Volga region) Federal University

1) How did you hear about KFU? Why did you choose this particular university?

I learned about KFU via the Internet. Today, the Internet provides us with many opportunities. Including the opportunity to learn how to live and study in different countries. I have always been interested in life in Russia, and Kazan has become the most suitable option for living and studying: the city is developed, and given the number of educational institutions, we can say with confidence that Kazan is the best city for any international student.

2) How did you imagine your life in Russia before coming here?

In fact, I imagined my life in a different way, I will explain why: I never thought that having arrived in Russia, you can not only meet people from all over the world, but also know yourself. When I look back at all this, I think that if I had not come to Russia, my life would have been very boring.

3) What particularly surprised you in the real life of Russian people? What unusual problems did you encounter in Russia?

The opinion of any foreigner about Russian people looks like: “they do not smile,” “they are always unkind.” This is not at all true. Yes, each person has his own temper, but I can’t say that all Russians are evil. I arrived in Russia at the end of winter, still remember how cold I was!!! For a person who came from Colombia, 25 degrees of frost is something unbearable.

4) What did the training at the preparatory school give you? What did you especially like (or you remember) in your studies at preparatory school?

I began to learn Russian from scratch in Russia. Knew nothing but “hello how are you”. I even tried to avoid talking to people so as not to get into awkward situations. Without knowledge of the language, I could hardly understand how everything works in Russia, and even more so, communicate with Russians. Therefore, I am extremely grateful to my teachers at the preparatory school. Every day they did everything possible so that my classmates and I understood even the most elementary peculiarities of the Russian language. It is not as simple as it sounds. Thanks to them and their patience, I can say that life in Russia has become easier.

5) What would you advise your compatriots if they decide to study at KFU preparatory school?

Do not miss classes. No way! Every day you are sure to learn something new and useful, so do not waste time. Of course, I understand that, having arrived in another country, I can’t wait to walk and meet new people, but, believe me, there will be a lot of time for this.

6) What are your impressions of Kazan? What did you especially like?

For all the time I live in this city, it has changed a lot. And here we are talking not only about how beautiful the streets or the Kremlin look at any time of the year, but also about how open and hospitable people are in Kazan. Every year sporting and cultural events are held here, to which many foreign tourists come. Therefore, Kazan has become accustomed to foreigners, the Kazaners are proud of their city and love to show it to tourists.

7) What would you wish to (or what advice would you give) to future students of KFU?

Being far from your relatives and acquaintances is very difficult. But you should know that studying in Russia is a unique opportunity to test your own strength and skills. Be sure all your efforts will pay off in the future.

8) What do you consider to be your main achievement in studies and work?

I consider as my main achievements the ability to express my opinion, and thereby learn to listen to my own “I”. Once you understand what you want, you will achieve exactly the same thing.