March 2024

Moscow Polytech International Student about Studying in Germany - This Trip Allowed Me to Look Broader at World

Student years is the time for obtaining new experience, knowledge and impressions. 4-year students of the Transport Faculty Vladimir Iliev knows how take it all fr om the university studies – in March 2024 he came back fr om Germany wh ere he studied in the course of one term at Osnabruck University of Applied Sciences. We talked to Vladimir and learn about the educational process abroad, travelling, differences in mentality and plans after graduation.

Let`s start fr om the very beginning: how did you chose and apply to Moscow Polytech?

It was such a hustle since it was 2020 when the pandemic happened. For school graduates nothing was clear because of coronavirus and online learning. I saw Moscow Polytech on the list of the most top-ranked universities that I was interested in, I checked the fields of training; the one that I applied for later on caught my attention, so I decided to try. I got quite a decent score as a result of the final state examination, so everything was in favor of me applying.

What do you like about studying at Moscow Polytech?

I really like my department. I like what we`re being taught, I like the teaching staff because they`re the people belonging to the “old engineering school” who know their job in and out. They`re burning passion about what they do and are trying to teach us. Speaking of Moscow Polytech in general, I see the University as a place of great opportunities. My exchange program in Germany became one of them.

Where did your exchange program take place?

In the course of one semester (fr om the end of August to beginning of February), I studied “Computer Technologies” in the city of Osnabruck, Lower Saxony.

How did you know about the opportunity to study in Germany?

I was quite meticulous to monitor the updates in the International Programs Department group in VK. But I was also aware of such opportunities exist because my teacher was quite close to the international department, and I was asking directly about the prospects. After that, I passed the interview, talked to employees of the international programs department and asked them to consider myself as the candidate to study in Germany.

How did the preparation for the trip go?

The preparation was relatively short – two months. The biggest problem was that one with documents that were needed to get a visa. Taking into consideration geopolitical situation, it was quite problematic to get a European bank account that was necessary for candidates to prove their financial security.

Why did you choose Computer Technologies?

In fact, the host university had quite a limited range of programs for international students. I chose a master degree program that implied me studying with the running students rather than international exchange students like myself.


How interesting was the program?

It was interesting but before anything else it was difficult because not only did you have to study something new but also try to catch up on something you`ve never studied before. This was a little challenge.

How is the process of education in Germany different fr om that one of Russia?

First of all, the educational process in Germany focuses on project activity. There are not that many lectures or seminars. We were mainly working on various projects when we had to present something. An interesting fact that one has to be ready for is that it`s better not to cheat because it`s strongly punished. Another funny moment is that in Russia the highest score is 5 whereas in Germany it`s 1. Very interesting that in Germany they make many presentations and people are really good at it. Within almost every discipline we had to present something.

Are there any important thoughts that came down on you thanks to studying at a German university?

I realized that it`s real to do wonderful things within the minimum effort and time – and that`s very important. Putting studies aside, I truly rethought the position that we, humans, take in this world. Maybe the trip allowed me to look at the world in a more broad manner.

How did the adaptation go?

Personally, acclimatization was fast: I was somewhat lost for a day or two but afterwards I had no time for that – I had to formalize the documents. Fr om the view point of a foreigner in a different country it was much easier for me because I was surrounded by international students who also came just like I did.

Where did you live in Germany?

I lived in a student dormitory, it was a block-type dorms. There were 10 people who lived with me, but each one has their own room. It`s worth noting that the dormitory fees for students are much higher than in Russia – approximately 20, 000RUB. The level of comfort was similar to the one of flat.What disciplines did you study?

There were several disciplines: German, and the basic discipline – “Mobile Applications” wh ere we studied developing methods, as well as history of applications in general. There were seminars held for specialists wh ere they were taught how to work with scientific literature and documentation correctly and how to use it within project activity. We also had lab works in mobile apps.


What disciplines did you study?

There were several disciplines: German, and the basic discipline – “Mobile Applications” where we studied developing methods, as well as history of applications in general. There were seminars held for specialists wh ere they were taught how to work with scientific literature and documentation correctly and how to use it within project activity. We also had lab works in mobile apps.

Were there any difficulties due to the differences in mentality?

It was rather interesting than difficult. We were all motivated and interested in studying and understanding each other`s culture, share certain experience and tell about the lifestyle back home. Many things really did surprise. For example, people didn`t understand why I drink so much tea and for me it was weird and funny.

The curriculum had German in it. Have you studied it before or was it new?

It was new, I didn`t know the language at all. But I didn`t find any difficulties in that because I knew English and that was more than enough. But here it`s worth noticing that I studied at a small city, mostly for students, there are many international students just like I am, so everyone understood English perfectly.

Are you planning to continue studying German?

I am already. In just a couple of 3 days I`m starting an intensive German course. I am planning to study it because I`m considering a prospect of continuing my education abroad.


You said you`re considering an option of studying abroad. Would you share your plans?

Yes, indeed I want to study at Austrian universities, try to be regular student – that is study there officially to obtain an educational degree. This experience may be somewhat different from the one I got recently.

What field area would you like to continue your education in?

The same specialization that I study here at Moscow Polytech. I`m interested in engineering.

Did you have any difficulties with coming back to Russia?

The only difficulty was only that for 6 months that you lived with people you get used to them and it`s quite difficult to leave them, it`s especially difficult emotionally.

How was the studies here at Moscow Polytech while you were there?

I didn`t take any academic leave, I kept studying both in Germany and in Russia. I contacted teachers in advance, explained the situations, asked about the possible solutions that they see and most commonly it was a standard situation — just like everybody else attending lectures that were held online. Anything can be solved — the key thing is to understand whether you`ll manage to study there or not. 

Was it difficult to combine studies not only in different countries but also different majors?

It was rather interesting. The problem was mainly the absence of time. If you can manage it efficiently I think there`ll be no problems. What`s important here is compromising.

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