How Russian students live in Belarus

‘Here I am in Europe’

says Maxim Osidulov from Sakhalin, who entered the university in Minsk

says Maxim Osidulov from Sakhalin, who entered the university in Minsk

Long time ago, Mikhail Lomonosov set off on a long wagon trip to receive education in the capital. Now you don’t need to make such sacrifices, as an aeroplane can deliver you to any part of the globe in record time. Having been given the task of finding out how Russian students live in Belarus, our correspondent found the student who arrived in Minsk literally from the the earth`s ends.

It has been two years since Maxim Osidulov moved to Minsk. He is a third year student at the economics department of the BSU. He has got used to the Minsk way of life, but during the holidays he returns to visit his parents in Sakhalin, “I hope to complete my education and become an expert in international relations. This field of specialization is currently in demand. We follow the examples of work of different successful  Russian, Belarusian and Western companies. The specialization is universal; it is useful in any field of activity.”

Sakhalin is a fishing area. Have you, as a future economist, considered the profitability of such a business with Belarus, for example?

Certainly, I often think about the possibility of organising logistics between the two countries. With a changeover, the flight time is 9 hours. I need to consider the situation in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, to study the local demand for Belarusian goods. I think that Belarusians need fish especially caviar. I am only able to eat fresh seafood to my heart’s content when I come home.

Why did Maxim choose the Belarusian State University over all other institutes of higher education? A key factor in this decision was a friends-of-a-friend’s parents, professional sportsmen who had previously moved to Minsk. Their stories about Belarus made an impact on Maxim’s family. Many of his schoolmates entered institutions of higher educations of Khabarovsk, while he decided to fulfil his old dream of living in Europe for a while.

At first I thought of going to a Moscow or St. Petersburg university. But after visiting Minsk I decided that I would stay here. The quality of education is of a high standard, and there is less bustle in Minsk. In the Far East, the BSU has an excellent reputation.

Here, if I were to tell my fellow students that I was going to Poland or the Czech Republic, they would not be surprised. While in Sakhalin such a journey is a huge event, for us Europe is a very long way away! But now that I have lived a long way away from home, I appreciate the Far East: mountains, ocean and the wonderful nature. Before, this seemed commonplace to me.

Meanwhile, Maxim is the only person from Sakhalin at the university. And when the Sakhalin State University agreed to co-operate with the Belarusian State University, Maxim was offered an honourable role as a representative of the island. Such a ‘diplomatic’ mission is well within his capabilities!

What do you particularly like about Belarus?

Quiet people, beautiful architecture. It is pleasant simply to walk along the streets of Minsk, to sit in a cafe, to go to club with friends. I like it that the student village in which I live is a modern complex, instead of a shabby hostel.

In his free time, Maxim plays in a new musical group. He is also an athlete and tries to keep fit by going to the gym. Having seen only Mogilev and Gomel, he would like to explore all of Belarus. He tells us that as soon as possible he aims to visit Brest and Grodno, “Then I could rightfully claim that I saw the Union State from Sakhalin to Brest.”

Belarus reference:

About 2,000 Russian students enter Belarusian institutions of higher education annually. Of them, almost a half enters the Belarusian State University.

By Svetlana Devyatkova
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