Benin, 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 from my uncle, who studied here in Kazan, and from the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Benin.

I chose the Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University due to the high level of education that it provides. KFU also has a good international reputation. For example, I learned that KFU is participating in the IREX, Fulbright, Eurasia programs. It is also a member of the International Association of Universities, the Eurasian Association of Universities and the Union of Universities for Democracy. All this made my choice easier.

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

Before coming to Russia, I knew that it would not be easy – a language that I do not know, a culture that I should strive to understand. I also heard a lot about the Russian climate. All this actually scared me a little. But I am a positive person, so I remained calm.

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

What really surprised me here was that women work in administrative positions no less than men. This is a very rare fact in this world, especially in my country. As for the problems, I can note the problem of adaptation to climate. Besides this, I’m fine.

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?

Studying at the preparatory school taught me how to overcome difficulties in learning the Russian language. We were also taught how to live here in Russia. At the preparatory school, I liked close contacts with my teachers, and their being helpful. I remember that I was seriously ill due to the Russian climate, but my teachers helped me very well, as if I were their own child. They supported me very much. This is an unforgettable memory.

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

If my compatriots decide to study at KFU, I would advise them to go through the preparatory school first. It helps us to prepare for university. It’s easier for us to integrate into university life. And there are very good teachers who help to learn Russian and understand local traditions and culture.

I also just wanted to say to foreign students who have arrived or will come to Russia: don’t be afraid. I advise you to study the Russian language diligently, because I consider the language the first instrument of integration into the life of the country. It is necessary to regularly carry out the tasks of teachers, find Russian friends to practice the language, to read a lot.

In addition, Russia is a country where it is very cold. You need to get ready and buy warm clothes.

Finally, set ambitious goals and work hard to achieve them.

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

The question is a little difficult to answer. In fact, when I was little, I told my parents that I needed to study abroad. When I said this, I did not know that the country where I would receive my education would be Russia. It was not easy, but with hard work I was able to achieve my goal and make my dream come true.