When the University of Milan-Bicocca proposed the possibility to attend an academic year in the Russian International Academy for Tourism in Moscow, initially I had some doubts, not about the education and more generally about the course of study but the main doubt was: Russia! Personally I did not know many aspects about Russia, just some information about its particular history and about some of its main cities and regions. One of the main cares was about the language, because Russian was (and is) very difficult. Ok, the lessons will be done in English but to me the thought regarded the “social life”, the relationships with the other students and with the Russian people. Moreover, another little concern was about the cultural difference and particularly the stereotype that the Russians are cold and probably not hospitable. Fortunately, at the end of my experience, I can say that it was really a wrong stereotype, because although there are some deep cultural differences, the Russian people are generally hospitable.
To describe all of my emotions about my experience needs too many pages and, honestly, some of these I cannot describe but I would like to focus on the aspects about the Academy and the study. The first impression when the first time I went to the Academy was: is it a university? In fact it is so small, compared with the University of Bicocca and the students are younger than us, sometimes they are eight years less! But this is the different educational system and the Academy is private, so it is absolutely understandable in my impression.
One of the aspects that I appreciated in this Academy regards the local events that, frequently, have been organized. I remember for example the “Foreign languages celebration” where there have been many short and funny shows of different classes. Another good impression regards for example the official website and the voice “news” where you can find the pictures and the reports about the activities made. Compared with the University of Bicocca these aspects contribute to give a major sense of affinity to the Academy. It is also true that this major sense is normal because there are not so many students as in Italy. Also in Italy the university organizes events, but they regard usually meetings with journalists, other professors or experts, so they are events almost always linked with the educational activity.
Considering the lessons, I suggest for the future to increase the hours of Russian. The University of Bicocca should organize an intensive course of Russian in Italy, so when the Italian students are in Russia they can already begin the lessons with the grammar (which is very difficult and needs a lot of time) and not with the alphabet. This permits to gain time and especially to improve faster the language. Personally my main goal was to learn the language. To know the Russian language gives advantages during the research of the job and of course it is very useful to know the language where you are living!
Another suggestion: I think it would be useful to organize lessons together with other Russian students. I understand that our course is particular and just for me and my Italian friends, but if there is the possibility to attend the lessons with others (for example the Russian students that will study in Italy) there will be more interest and especially it will give major possibilities to create relationships.
On the whole I would like to say “thank you” to our Russian professors who have been always very available.
double master’s degree program,