International Students Testimonials

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Thomas Espy, USA

National Research University – Higher School of Economics

I quickly prepared all the documents for admission with the help of university staff 

My name is Thomas Espy. I am from Huntsville, Alabama (United States). I am currently studying in the Population and Development Master’s programme.

I decided on this particular program and Vyshka (HSE) itself because of the opportunities here. I saw that this was a new programme, that it seemed to have a lot of promise, and that it was within my field and was something that would stretch me a little bit further.

The application and taking care of the paperwork to come here, to get all of my documents apostilled and such like that, ultimately the process went well. It was streamlined and it was clear what I needed to do.

The real value of being at HSE is that, for one, it is a research university. Not only is it a research university, but it’s a top notch one here in Russia. With that in mind, there are innumerable opportunities to engage in research, to participate in projects of all types, to network, and to meet people who have some very serious clout in this country.

In terms of classroom dynamics and being in this group, we have many very dedicated students, roughly half Russian and half international. I think that the group dynamics and the social dynamics in our program are actually a driving force for the Population and Development program. First things first, it allows us to learn about other parts of the world and to get new perspectives.

As a result of a couple of conferences that I had heard about from the institute and my programme, I was able to meet with some researchers who do a lot of really important work in the field of migration. I got connected with them in October, spoke with them again in November, and now I’m working as an intern with them, helping them with some translation work as well as a little bit of research. I expect that in the years to come this internship will develop further.

HSE has lots of opportunities. They push a lot of great events and there are many great initiatives out there to get students into the city, to see all the sights, and to get engaged with the social life of the city. 

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