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NVSU students has returned from study in Latvia

Students of the Faculty of Information Technology and Mathematics, Anna Pluzyan and Yerbol Zhakenov studied at the University of Liepaja during the fall semester of 2019 as part of the Erasmus + program. Anna and Erbol talked about studying in Europe.

What made you think of going abroad for study? Are you happy with your decision?

Anna: It has always been my dream to study abroad. I decided to go when I learned about the opportunity provided by NVSU.

Yerbol: Studying abroad is my university dream. The only reason I stayed in Nizhnevartovsk and went to study to NVSU was the opportunity of academic mobility offered by this university. I wanted to go abroad earlier, but my level of English was not good enough and it took me some time to improve my language skills. I am really happy that I have achieved my goal and my dream has come true.

What were your first impressions? What surprised you, what did you like and remember first?

Anna: I was pleased with the weather in Latvia. This country has a very mild climate. As for the university, I was impressed that 90% of deans were women. I also liked that the university is located in the city center, in a 20-minute walk from the sea.

Yerbol: It is a great place to stay and take a vacation. The city is very quiet, you can hardly see any people on the street at night. Latvia has beautiful architecture and, of course, very fresh fruits and vegetables.


Did you have a vacation? If so, how did you spend your vacation in Latvia?

Anna: We had Christmas holidays at the end of December. I spent this time exploring the city, relaxing after school, and socializing with friends. During this period, the city "falls into hibernation", most of the shops, museums are closed, so there is nothing special to do.

What difficulties did you encounter in the new country?

Anna: For me, it was difficult to lie on my own for the first time. But, after all, that was one of the things I wished for when I went to Latvia - to learn to be self-sufficient.

Yerbol: I did have any particular difficulties. After arrival, I walked around the city a lot. I took care of my accommodation in advance, but I didn’t really like the place when I arrived and later I had to move to another apartment by mid-October.


What did you do in your free time?

Anna: In my free time, I explored the city. In Liepaja, almost all buildings are old and are full of history. I went to the local museum and learned about the way sailors lived in Liepaja and about the events that took place during the world wars. The museum is a great place, it is well-equipped and free too. I really suggest it to anyone visits Liepaja.

Yerbol: Actually, I only took part in the events organized by the international office and the university. Also, I went to a seminar in Berlin.

Did you find new friends?

Anna: Of course I did! I was lucky to meet wonderful people from around the world - France, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Germany, China, Egypt, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I made friends with almost all of them.

Yerbol: Me too, I found many friends from different countries.


Was it difficult to adapt in a new country?

Anna: It was easy for me to adapt in a new country for several reasons. First, my parents and members of the international office of my home university talked to me about possible emotional crises during my studies, so I was prepared. Second, I wasn’t alone – I came with my friend Yerbol and we studied together. Besides, 40% of the people in Liepaja speak Russian, so there was no acute language barrier at first.

Yerbol: It took me about two weeks to adapt. I had some difficulties with the language, but eventually it was all right because I had a lot of everyday practice.

Did you receive assistance with the Latvian university when you encountered some problems?

Anna: Members of the international department were always considerate and ready to assist on any issue.

Yerbol: Actually, I am used to solving all my routine problems on my own. I only sought assistance from the university concerning my studies.

What would you suggest to students going abroad for study in the future?

Anna: I would suggest to take a chance and not to be afraid of difficulties because they help us grow and develop. Also, there are so many opportunities to learn, meet new people and practice language. This study period abroad will bring lots of memories of student life. Life is great and full of amazing opportunities!

Yerbol: I would say, be ready for difficulties. During the first couple of weeks the life will test if you really want to do what you are doing. But you need to believe in yourself and never give up, even if your English is bad or you struggle with your studies. It all shall pass and all the problems will be solved. Be active and take part in all events. You will meet new friends and it will make your experience of Erasmus + program unforgettable.