Our Master programme student Thi Than Dang tells us about her studies and shares her plans for the future.
About choosing a programme
I became interested in Russian culture when I was studying in the Institute of Foreign Languages at Hanoi University. I had always been keen on covering cultural issues. I also watched with interest the reports of my idol, the journalist Nyat Ling, who talked about everyday life in Russia. The combination of these interests prompted me to move to Russia and choose the programme ‘Journalism and Culture of Society’.
About studying challenges
It is challenging for foreigners to study in Russia. The key problem is command of the language, but there were other difficulties. I studied by an education quota for foreign nationals, and I had to wait for a long time for a visa and tickets from the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam. Eventually, I started studying at St Petersburg University a month later. In the early days, I was shocked: there were 10 subjects per semester; many lectures were missed; my knowledge to work successfully at seminars was not always enough; and I also had to choose the topic of my graduation project! Then I realised how difficult it might be to study abroad.
Fortunately, I did not have to overcome difficulties on my own. Of course, after the first shock, I pulled myself together, but I could not have done it without the help from my teachers. They patiently taught me the journalistic profession, helped and prompted me when I did not understand something. I gained a lot of knowledge from them about journalism and mass communications, and learned how to write media content. It is not for nothing that they say in Vietnam: ‘No one can succeed without the help of a teacher.’ Many thanks to all the lecturers at the Graduate School of Journalism and Mass Communications at St Petersburg University! And special thanks to the lecturers at the Department of Theory of Journalism and Mass Communications, especially to my research supervisors. I had two of them due to personnel changes in the department. And both of them helped me a lot in preparing my graduation project.
About online defences
Online defences appear to be the best solution in the current circumstances. I had no technical difficulties: I easily uploaded all the files to the BlackBoard system; on the day of my defence, I answered questions from the members of the examination board in a special ‘chat’, if I may call it that. The only drawback is that it was impossible to present one’s work in person to the examination board. It seems to me that with the usual format of defences, students can talk more about their work. But nothing matters more than the fact that the defence was successful.
About my future prospects
I would like to continue my studies in a doctoral programme at the Graduate School of Journalism and Mass Communications and acquire a lot of new knowledge from my favourite lecturers. Or I would like to become a reporter who tells the people of Vietnam about the news from Russia.