Durjay Sarkar Jay, Bangladesh
The teaching process at the university complies with the wishes and needs of the students
I study Russian at Ural Federal University, in the wonderful city of Ekaterinburg. Once, back in Bangladesh, I saw a movie named “The Barber of Siberia”, and I was greatly inspired by it, so I made the decision to learn the Russian language. Sure, my friends and family were surprised at first, but later they get used to it.
Moreover, my close relative had studied in one of Russian cities for several months, so it became one of our common hobbies to speak Russian to each other. To be honest, Russian is a really complicated language. In particular, it’s extremely difficult for a Bengali or an English-speaking person to pronounce such sounds as [ы], palatal [л] or [р]. And it’s nearly impossible to feel any difference between the “Ш” and “Щ” letters. But the teachers are always polite and helpful, and I really like the way they treat us.
I remember that day when I first came to Ekaterinburg. It was -9 degrees, and I didn’t have anything warm to wear with me. That was the time when I first felt what the Russian cold was! It was unusual, new for me; I'd never felt anything similar before. Also I was impressed with how modern and European-like Ekaterinburg looked.
Then, the classes started. The Russian educational system differs fundamentally from ours. Here, the teaching process complies with the wishes and needs of the students: the lecturers ask what we would like to get from each course. Also, there is more individual work with the students. In Bangladesh, for example, I hardly ever saw less than 30 students in a lecture or a seminar, and here there may sometimes be just five students in class.
I live in a student dorm here. It’s new and we have everything we need there, like a gym, a kitchen, a piano, table tennis and so on. Smoking in rooms isn’t allowed, though. In Bangladesh, we can smoke everywhere.
I think UrFU is really the best. It’s a great university with very friendly and always helpful staff; the teachers really care very much about their students and try to provide us with as much attention as possible. The location of the academic buildings is perfect; one can easily get to any of them by public transport. The buildings themselves are wonderful, and to me the main academic building looks like a beautiful castle.
The University library has an extremely wide selection of books, among them are some really incredible and rare ones. There are also a lot of shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars nearby to spend time and socialize. During my first month here, I really missed our traditional food, but today I know for sure where they serve really spicy stuff in Ekaterinburg – and I love it. Whenever I feel like I miss Bangladesh, I can always buy something hot and spicy to eat, which reminds me of my country.
Before first coming to Russia, I did have some misconceptions of the country, its people and culture. I had heard that it’s always cold there, and the people are always gloomy. In fact, Russians are the nicest and friendliest people in the world, always smiling, always ready to help whatever happens.
Russian people have really amazing culture and very rich history, and you can learn and see a lot here. I meet many people every day, and they always show their interest in me; wherever I am – on a bus, a train, or in a park – they always walk up to talk to me because they are so interested in my culture. I have met some really smart, intelligent people here, whom I’ve already learned a lot from – and I’m still learning.