The SUSU Center for Social and Cultural Adaptation for foreign students have been functioning for almost half a year. To make the stay in Russia truly valuable and memorable, the Center staff and volunteers create a special environment for foreign students.
Education in Russia and at SUSU in particular is gaining popularity among foreigners. These days, more than 2,000 students from 37 countries study different subjects at SUSU. The University is expecting more students in the forthcoming years. This is not surprising; SUSU provides comfortable living conditions and creates the perfect study environment for foreign students.
The campus facilities include cozy dormitories, heath center, sports center, student cafes, cafeterias, and the Center for Business Cooperation. Every facility is within the easy reach from the University. The supervisors (teachers and students) do their best to organize interesting activities for foreign students so that they can learn more about Russian culture and traditions. Among the events organized by the supervisors are regional and Russian forums, sports competitions, workshops, excursions and going to theatres.
In February 2017, the SUSU Center for Social and Cultural Adaptation established the Language Club, a place where Russian and foreign students can exchange their experiences and have fun. In the Language Club, students speak only Russian, a good opportunity for foreign students to improve their Russian language skills. The club staff and volunteers help the students not to make serious language mistakes and provide individual support for the newcomers.
The library and dormitory staff learn to communicate with foreign students in English. The Center for Social and Cultural Adaptation offers intensive programs of English learning for the staff so that they feel comfortable speaking English.
SUSU foreign students shared their experience of studying at SUSU.
Emil Zhumabaev, 21, Kyrgyzstan, master’s student, Institute of Natural Sciences, SUSU
– "In 2015, I graduated with honors from Kyrgyz National Agrarian University, Faculty of Ecology. To get more experience and become a professional, I’ve decided to continue my studies at SUSU. The Chelyabinsk Region is rich in industrial plants and companies, so there’s a close connection with ecology. In Chelyabinsk, I can link industry and ecology and gain valuable knowledge and experience which will help me to build a successful career in Kyrgyzstan and other countries."
Revsiry Sarana, 29, Sri-Lanka, PhD, Institute of Linguistics and International Communication, SUSU
– "When I was a kid, I used to read Russian literature and I fell in love with it. I wanted to learn Russian to be able to read the originals. At first, I studied the language in Sri-Lanka but it wasn’t effective. Then I decided to continue my studies as a PhD student here, in Chelyabinsk. My first language teacher was from Chelyabinsk and she advised me to choose SUSU. I wanted to see the native Russian culture away from the modern capital. I thought Chelyabinsk could be a suitable place for that. I’ve haven’t made up my mind yet on what I’m going to do in the future but I know for sure that SUSU education is a certain benefit for me”.
Akbar Bakhramov, 24, Uzbekistan, master’s student, Polytechnic Institute, SUSU
– "Having successfully passed the exams, I got an invitation from SUSU. Back then, I didn’t know if I really wanted to study in Russia. My friends enrolled at various Russian universities and I thought I might give it try. I got interested in Chelyabinsk and SUSU. When I came to the city, the first thing I saw was the main SUSU building which deeply impressed me. During my bachelor studies, I could easily grasp technical subjects; the only problem was the language barrier. My classmates encouraged me and corrected my language mistakes. I’m finishing my master's degree now; my Russian is pretty good. I wish to stay in Russia and try myself in Russian politics or economics".
Bzhar Mohammed, 28, Iraq, student, Institute of Architecture and Construction, SUSU
– "I chose SUSU because of the University agreement with my government, so I can study for free. SUSU is one of the most famous Universities in my country. I’d studied Russian at first but then I enrolled at the Faculty of Architecture and Construction. I want to stay in Russia, I have a fiancée here. The only thing left is getting the residence permit. Can’t say for sure what I’m going to do in the future, but it would be great to start my own business."
South Ural State University closely cooperates with the Chelyabinsk branch of the Association of Foreign Students in Russia and closely monitors students’ initiatives and problems. SUSU is planning to increase the number of foreign students and create positive environment for their socialization and long-term international friendship.