My first acquaintance with the organization University of the Arctic and north2north student exchange happened when I was a first year undergraduate student. I studied geocryology and glaciology, which is directly related to the Arctic, and I thought that studying abroad is something inaccessible and distant. Then, when I was the third year student, a big step in terms of my professional growth was election of my candidacy for the UArctic Student Ambassador in the Industrial University of Tyumen in 2016. In a sense, UArctic helped me to develop further my scientific activity during participation at such events as Korea Arctic Academy (2016) and UArctic Congress 2016, I was happy to participate and meet UArctic friends. With every year I felt that my background was getting stronger due to international and scientific activity, and I could do something more. In 2018, I was elected as the Student Representative of the Board of UArctic, and it is the greatest honor for me. In the same year I decided to apply for north2north student exchange program, and my application was successful.
I am sure, that studying abroad is a significant factor in becoming a high-level scientist, who can perform tasks in different areas, especially, if you are a student in the field of Earth sciences. In this field there is a need to be aware of the latest innovations and communicate with foreign colleagues from different fields of activity. I decided that the most suitable place for my exchange period is the University of Helsinki. Undoubtedly, the University of Helsinki has strong scientific and international background, which is strengthening by the Strategic Plan 2017-2020, that includes the creation of an open platform for young researchers and establishing useful contacts for cooperation. The University gave opportunities to learn truly unique things and study on multidisciplinary and narrowly focused courses. When I was choosing courses, I was guided by how to move away from what I had studied before and try my hand at the most diverse fields. The courses I took were related to geology, glaciology and paleoecology. I met the smartest professors, ambitious young scientists and interesting students from around the world – and that's the most valuable for me.
Studying at a European university is definitely different from other educational systems. The most distinctive feature is freedom. Students can choose courses that they like and make their own individual schedule. But each student have to learn how to plan time, despite the fact that there is freedom in attending lectures, doing homework and passing exams. My studying schedule was quite tight. On top of that, I had a part time job at the university. I think that the most challenging thing for me was to control my schedule and time, and I must admit that I still learn how to do it.
This four-month journey, which happened thanks to north2north, definitely changed my life and allowed me to leave usual boundaries as much as possible. Because of the exchange period and the people I met during this time, I decided what I want to do in the future and what great opportunities education and science provide. I am full of gratitude, pride and the feeling that experience I have is priceless. After my exchange period, I plan to finish my studies at my home university and get a Master’s degree.
Studying in the University of Helsinki was a great honor and big responsibility for me. My purpose for future is to use experience, which was taken from studying process, in my scientific and professional activities, as well as in international activity between the Industrial University of Tyumen and the University of Helsinki – establishing cooperation between students, researchers and scientists to share experiences and create new ideas for solving different challenges, which are related with Earth sciences.
I really want to recommend north2north to other students. I want to say that studying abroad is possible. You do not need to be afraid of foreign countries and their culture, study in a foreign language or that you could not pass any exam. It allows you to grow above yourself. Living and studying in a foreign country is real growing up and bold decision that you would never regret.
I want to express my deep gratitude to UArctic organization for giving me these awesome opportunities. I've discovered new horizons, met impressive and interesting people and expanded my professional skills.