March 2024

Many Said It Would Be Completely Different: Foreign Student about Difficulties of Translation, Career Opportunities and Favorite Places in Moscow

Four-year master student Siar Mushtaq fr om Afghanistan shared how he learned Russian, why he decided to study performance arts and his career prospects that he has in Russia.

Why did you decide to move to Russia?

My dad and uncle studied here back in Soviet times. They always told me that there are many opportunities in Russia and that you can achieve career success here. I think that what I was able to achieve here, I would not have anywhere else.

And also, I`ve always really wanted to learn Russian, which is why I came to Moscow.

First, I submitted documents to the “Russian House” in Afghanistan. Then I chose six universities, one of them was the Moscow Polytechnic University.

Why did you choose this specialization?

I enjoy working with electronics. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to design and create a robot. For a long time, I was looking for directions that would suit me. As a result, I chose “Industrial electronics”.

How do you like Moscow?

To be honest, at first it was difficult to adapt. When I arrived, I didn’t think it would be so difficult. I hoped to learn the language in 6-7 months, then start working and studying. When I arrived, I realized that the Russian language is not as easy as English, for example. But within a year I got used to it and was able to speak the language at a level that allowed me to understand everything.

Now I feel comfortable in Moscow. This is a very beautiful city, especially in summer. I don’t even want to go home, I’ll spend my holidays here. My favorite places in the city are Red Square and Gorky Park.

How did you learn the language? Wh ere did you start?

I didn't understand the language at all. When I arrived, I only knew the word “good” and didn’t even know its meaning. In addition, I arrived not at the beginning of the school year, but at the end of October. At this time, all the children in the language group were already learning cases. I looked at them and thought “how difficult.” But my teacher helped me a lot, and I myself put a lot of effort into studying. Because I believe that language opens “all doors.”

After eight months of preparatory courses, I mastered the basics. And about a year later I began to understand what we were talking about, and since the second year I have been fluent in Russian.

What is the atmosphere like at the Moscow Polytech?

I was immediately welcomed. Although the first two years of study were completed remotely due to quarantine. After them, I quickly joined the team and immediately went to the creative workshop of the Moscow Polytechnic University. I found friends at the University and something I liked.

Now I’m sad that my studies are coming to an end, but I will try to enroll in a master’s program. I want to choose “Technical systems management” .

How did your groupmates receive you?

Great! I was open to communication. At the beginning, it was not easy because the culture and mentality are different. Now we are friends, we go for walks and even went to barbecues.

Why did you choose a creative workshop as an extracurricular activity?

I really like theater. When I was still at the preparatory department where we studied the language, I constantly participated in production, read poems and even went to Volgograd with a mini-play to perform. After that, I decided to study theatrical arts.

Do foreign students communicate with each other?

Yes, for this purpose Inter Club was organized last year. Various events are held as part of this project. I remember the Russian national interuniversity reading competition “My Soul – Russia,” where I took part. There was also a cool event - the InterFest festival. If have free time, I participate in conversational club meetings. There, we speak English, Russian and French.

Now I’m in my last year of study, I’m working and still writing my thesis, so it’s difficult to find free time for extracurricular activities.

Do you work at a university?

Yes, at “Flying Robotics” laboratory. During open days, we present our laboratories and hold workshops for school students, and we also assemble drones and do the programing.

What do you like the most about Moscow Polytech?

The atmosphere. The teachers are always ready to help. Many said it would be completely different. But when you try and learn, then you will be treated well.

Do you live in a dormitory?

Yes, I live in the dormitory 6. We have a lot of foreign guys here. For example, my neighbor is from France. Almost everyone I met in the dormitory became my friends.

What do you like the most about Moscow?

I like that people here engage in personal growth, develop, study and build their careers. Moscow has created all the possibilities for this.

Missing home?

Of course, this happens. I lived there for the most of my life. My family and friends are back in Afghanistan. This summer I returned there for the first time in 4 years. I miss you, but I always remember about my development and I understand that it is easier to do this in Russia.

Do you plan to stay in Russia after graduation?

I haven’t decided yet, but I will definitely try to apply for a master’s program. I want to stay at the Moscow Polytechnic University, because leaving here is difficult.


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