Specialists from St Petersburg University conducted a survey among almost 90 students who have entered the University for exchange studies. More than 80% of them consider their academic exchange experience at St Petersburg University to be positive: 72 students confidently stated that they would recommend studying at St Petersburg University to other foreign students.
Exchange students usually highly appreciate administrative support from employees of St Petersburg University. The results of the survey for the spring semester of the 2018/19 academic year show that nearly 70% of respondents are grateful for help with paperwork, as well as for information support. More than half of the respondents rated the level of education at St Petersburg University as excellent. Giulia Modenese, an academic exchange programme student from Bocconi University, Italy, said that 'this semester was one of the best in my life.'
Two thirds of respondents indicated expressly the sublime quality of teaching the Russian language. It is ‘the improvement of Russian language skills to an unexpectedly high level’ that Charlotte Murphy, an exchange student from the European University Viadrina, Germany, distinguishes among the positive aspects of studying at St Petersburg University.
Foreign students are pleased with a series of orientation events to help them to get to know better the city and the University. They are also grateful to the volunteers of buddy programmes: about 70% of foreign university students report ‘the friendliness of Russian students’.
Among the difficulties that foreign students ran into they mentioned everyday difficulties: a third of university students would like to improve their living conditions in the halls of residence of St Petersburg University. Some students also drew attention to the fact that not all university teachers are fluent in English.
Foreign students recommend that future participants in exchange programmes be ‘open to adventures’. Armin Römer, from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, is sure that ‘Russia is one of them’: ‘You will definitely come across many things that you are not used to. At the same time, you will meet great people, begin to understand the local mentality, and see beautiful places.’