Russia and Taiwan have different grading system; Russia uses a five-point scale, with five being the highest and three being a pass. HSE, however, follows a more European system, using the 10-point scale, where 10 is the highest score and four is a passing grade. Just like in Taiwan, at Russian universities they academic year is divided into two semester. But at HSE, the semester is also separated into 2 module. After enrolling at HSE, I did not need to choose courses - our institute’s teaching assistant helped me to make my course schedule. We have five hours of courses a day during the week. Usually we need to do presentation for each session and before the end of each module we take a written or oral exam. In contrast, in Taiwan Master’s students do not take exams but instead concentrate on research. Different professors of course have different style of teaching. Some prefers to lead interactive sessions while others prefer to deliver lectures and then let students ask questions. Interestingly, I noticed that Russian graduate students love to have discussions with their professors in classroom, something that is not the case for Taiwanese students. Russian students share their own ideas with everyone and are very good at thinking independently. In addition, in order to graduate, HSE graduate students must intern at a company or organization, a requirement that does not exist for Taiwanese graduate programs.
HSE has different dormitories located throughout Moscow. I live in dormitory 4 by the Studentcheskaya metro station. The neighborhood is relatively quiet and our dorm is just a 3-5 minute walk from metro station. You food pass, photo studios, photocopy shops, pharmacies, and other conveniences. Your electronic student pass is necessary for entering the dormitory. On the first floor are laundry rooms and a fitness room. Each floor has two kitchens and two separate toilets for men and women, as well as a study room where students can study. Each room is for two people and they are clean and comfortable.
Compared to Taiwanese dormitories, HSE’s are very good. This year there were housemasters on each floor to help students with daily life. Cleaning staff makes sure that the kitchen, toilets and corridors are in good shape.
Living in a dormitory wasn't new for me… but I wasn’t used to cooking for myself. Learning how to shop for food and cook wasn't an easy process for me. It’s really fascinating to be in the kitchen and to see a variety of exotic dishes from all over the world being prepared by international students from different countries. Culinary exchanges among international students have become characteristic of dorm life. In addition, students at the dorms will initiate some events and invite all the students in the dorm to participate. These activities might be a day trip to the Moscow countryside, seeing Moscow Circus, or visiting one of Moscow’s many museums. It’s worth mentioning that the environment and atmosphere of HSE’s dormitories are much better and newer in comparison to other dorms at other Russian universities and I think it’s fair to say that they are among the best in Moscow.