Success Stories

Yutaro HARA and Hiromi TANABE
  • Mutual interests unite SPbPU not only with leading Japanese corporations but universities as well. Thus, in a number of areas, Polytechnic University cooperates with Meiji University. In particular, this interaction concerns student exchanges. During his visit to Tokyo in April 2018, the Rector of SPbPU, Academician of RAS A.I. RUDSKOI presented the Rector of  the Meiji University Keiichiro Tsuchii with certificates for Japanese students’ studies at the  International Polytechnic Summer School, which this year proved to be very popular among students from the Land of the Rising Sun. Yutaro HARA and Sonoko ITO came from Meiji University to study modern SAP technologies and special features of business and entrepreneurship; Hiromi TANABE from Ritsumeikan University also chose the entrepreneurship module; a number of other students got to study the Russian language, culture, Smart Cities and management. Read more …

    Yutaro HARA and Hiromi TANABE completed their studies in the business module at the end of September and shared their impressions with SPbPU international services after the end of the Summer School. Their interview is about what surprised Japanese students in Russia, their project work, and culinary experiments.

    - Yutaro, Hiromi, why did you decide to come to Russia?

    Yutaro: I owe this fascinating opportunity to my university: I was lucky to get a certificate for studying at the International Polytechnic Summer School. In the future, I am planning to work as a data analysis specialist, and I consider the options of working abroad. It was extremely interesting for me to know how to run business in Russia.

    Hiromi: This is not my first time in Russia, and I knew exactly what kind of summer school I needed. I wanted to take a month-long course in business in St. Petersburg, and the International Polytechnic Summer School had perfectly met my criteria.  

    Students from various countries came to SPbPU to study business and entrepreneurship

    - Was there anything that surprised you in Russia?

    Yutaro: This is my first time in St. Petersburg, and I am absolutely impressed and charmed with your city. The metro here lies very deep. I was surprised that there was no schedule for the trains and that they ran with high frequency.

    Hiromi: I was impressed with honesty and kindness of people. Earlier, I have got this stereotype that Russian citizens are strict, serious, and hardly ever smile. But this proved to be absolutely wrong! A day before our interview, I went to the Museum of Shadows but failed to find the entrance. An ordinary lady in the street called the museum and after that escorted me right to the doors, and this was extremely nice of her; I was impressed with her kindness.

    Students of the International Polytechnic Summer School worked on their projects in international groups

    - What do you think about Polytechnic University? Which of the courses stack to you memory the most?

    Yutaro: I enjoyed absolutely everything. I would like to single out the project work and the final presentation. We studied a business model at the example of a restaurant, and we worked in groups with students from various countries. Our goal was to come up with an analysis of particular products of the restaurant, ice-cream and espresso, and suggest options how we can increase profits and expand the audience using them.

    Hiromi: I agree that the final presentation on the results of the joint project was one of the most interesting events of the module. I was in the group with guys from Germany, China, and Iran. We were to analyze such products as pizza and home-made lemonade. On the one hand, that was fun, but on the other, we got to understand many principles of entrepreneurship.  

    A rich cultural program was developed for SPbPU international students

    - Was it easy for you to find common language with students from other countries?

    Yutaro: Yes, we have got a lot of new friends. We all communicated in English, and thanks to that, we could understand each other very well. Sometimes it happened that we could not come to a joint decision, but one should always be ready to such variants: this was a very good experience of working internationally. 

    Hiromi: We had been very well communicating with each other. Of course, a certain difference of cultures could be felt: for example, punctuality is extremely important for the Japanese, while some people interpret time frames a lot more liberally. However, altogether, we had a great time and have learned a lot.

    A rich cultural program was developed for SPbPU international students

    - And what about the cultural program? By the way, what do you think about the Russian cuisine?

    Yutaro: Of course we have visited the main attractions of St. Petersburg: the Hermitage, Cathedral on Spilled Blood, Peterhof. We have been to many restaurants and bars. You would not believe me, but I was most impressed with a roll of lavash: I have already learned that here, in St. Petersburg, it is called shaverma. This is unbelievably delicious!

    Hiromi: I have a whole list of places to visit.  For example, I am going to the Museum of Water shortly. As far as the food is concerned, I got introduced to the Russian cuisine in the course of my previous visit. This time, I decided to take a few experiments. It was fun! We went to a sushi restaurant with my friends, and I ordered a sushi roll.  It was absolutely unlike the sushi in Japan but I liked it!  

    - Yutaro, Hiromi, thank you very much for the interesting interview! We wish you success in your educational and creative activities!

Yutaro HARA and Hiromi TANABE, Japanese Students Spoke about Russia
Tutors of the International Polytechnic Summer School
  • The International Polytechnic Summer School-2018 had a lot of surprises for students: they studied the space, nuclear power, special features of the oil and gas power production, molecular gastronomy and urban planning, explored specifics of the Russian language and culture. Another debut of 2018 was the educational module on the “Logistics and supply chain management.” This course was launched under the frames of the International   Erasmus+ Project called “Green Logistical Management.” The module attracted attention of Russian and international students already at its very initial stages. 

    This year, students from Singapore, Germany, Denmark, England, China, the Netherlands, Belarus, Iran and Norway came to study logistics and supply chain management. Read more …

     “The educational program of the module is structured in accordance with the modern business concept. It is divided into several specialized blocks; that allows to form competences in the sphere of strategic planning and organization of logistical processes. The key feature of the Summer Logistic School is using the unique Fresh Connection role-based simulator in the sphere of supply chain management. In addition, we paid special attention to the green logistics,” module coordinator N.S. LUKASHEVICH said.   

    Presently, Polytechnic University is the only university in Russia where the Fresh Connection role-based simulator is used for teaching students in Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree programs. More than that, SPbPU students under supervision of business coach D.A. GAVRILOV had got to the global final of the Fresh Connection World Student Competition, which took place in the Netherlands, and came in a good third. This summer, the unique Fresh Connection role-based simulator was put to good use at the International Polytechnic Summer School, and international students could see in their own experience that supply chain management is a complex, demanding, but interesting sphere.

    Prominent specialists of SPbPU and Erasmus+ coordinators taught lectures and seminars in logistics for students of the International Polytechnic Summer School

    “The skills I have got in the course of the training at the International Polytechnic Summer School will be very helpful for me in the future. We had a lot of practical training, and I understood only too well that, to a big extent, the productivity of our company may depend on our own solutions,” Katarina RASMUSSEN from the University of Southern Denmark believes. 

    Along with the unique Fresh Connection role-based business simulator, students were impressed with the trend of the green logistics which keeps growing with each year.  

    “We must take care of the environment and prevent emergence of environmental problems. Green logistics is a very important direction which helps us use our resources wisely,” Hoppman MEES (Utrecht University, the Netherlands) shared his impressions.  

    A picnic is a traditional event of the International Polytechnic Summer School

    In addition to lectures, seminars, and practical training led by leading SPbPU specialists and Erasmus+ coordinators, students visited for educational purposes the Russian Hyundai Motor Plant. And the tutor team helped to organize an intensive cultural program: young people went on a tour along St. Petersburg rivers and canals, visited Peterhof and other famous museum complexes of the Northern Capital.

Tutors of the International Polytechnic Summer School, Students of the International Polytechnic Summer School Manage Supply Chains
Jordi Aerts
  • In 2019, SPbPU international students for the first time ever were learning modern SAP technologies within the frame of the International Polytechnic Winter School. For a number of years, this educational module was a success in the program of International Polytechnic Summer Schools, and therefore, it was decided to introduce it to the winter school as well.

    Jordi AERTS is a student of Thomas More University (Belgium). At his school, Jordi studies special features of information security management, and he is confident that today SAP is one of the world leaders in the enterprise application market. Read in our interview about why Jordi chose to study at the International Polytechnic Winter School and whether he plans to return to St. Petersburg again. Read more …

    - Jordi, we are glad to see you! Each year, the popularity of winter student schools is going up. Could you please tell us why did you decide to come to Russia?

    - I got to know about the International Polytechnic Winter School from my teachers. I took it right away that this would be a unique opportunity to meet other foreign students, visit St. Petersburg, and study at an interesting for me SAP module. The course just over, I am already thinking about coming back to Polytechnic University: I would like to try other educational modules. It very well might be that already next summer or next year I will come here again.

    - What would you prefer to study next time?

    - I’m considering the Russian language and culture. It would be interesting to start learning Russian from the scratch. My future profession is on demand at any place where they have the Internet, and therefore I very well might be working at an international company. Who knows, it might be positioned in Russia.

    In 2019, students of the International Polytechnic Winter School studied new educational modules

    - How are the present-day SAP technologies connected with your specialization?

    - Back at Thomas More University, I study information security management. Since virtually every large company in the world uses SAP software in its operation, I need knowledge in this area. Within the framework of the International Polytechnic Winter School, we got the basic knowledge of modern SAP technologies. The information was provided in an accessible form; there were many practical exercises. We were taking notes on the most important points, and the professors gave us recommendations on how we can continue our studies. That is, I will be able to study SAP technology in more detail at home in Belgium: I already have a plan how.

    - Jordi, everything you say sounds reasonable and logical; on can immediately sense an IT specialist talking to you! You said that you would like to work at an international company in the future. Could you be more specific about this?

    - I have no specific goal to work at a large company. The main thing for me is to be of use. At high school I was quite excited about the tourist business: I think high about understanding the world. I am going to work for a few years in Belgium after I graduate, and then head for other countries. Possibly, Russia will be one of those.  

    - Did you come to this idea after coming here or you had such thoughts before that?

    - The SPbPU Winter School contributed quite a lot to my decision. This is my first experience of taking part in such international programs. When I was discussing this trip with my parents, my dad said, “Go! This will be a unique experience. Russian culture is magnificent. You will see everything with your own eyes, talk to local people; you will discover a new country for yourself.”  St. Petersburg has impressed me immensely, and I feel I will be back.

    The SPbPU White Hall impressed students of the International Polytechnic Winter School

    - And what impressions did you get from our university?

    - Just wonderful. Teachers, coordinators, tutors were very kind. Everyone was ready to help at any time. And the university campus and its auditoriums are very well tuning for the working mood. My life was full of love and care. Thank you, the Polytechnic!

    - Jordi, thank you for your emotions and sincere words. We wish you all the success and hope to see you again at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University!  

Jordi Aerts , A Student of the International Polytechnic Winter School: I will be back!
Hans Geeroms, Sebastian Biakek, Tamara Malakhov, Ricardo Munoz
  • Nowadays Russian language is in the top ten of the most widely spoken languages. In the modern world about 400 million people speak Russian, and its learning is getting more and more popular: many international students prefer to come to Russia to study Russian.

    In summer 2017 about 200 young people from more than 10 countries came to International Polytechnic Summer School to learn Russian language and culture. Some of them wanted to get some common knowledge; others were interested in business communication. Besides almost all of them joined language clubs, where international students could communicate with native speakers, which helped everyone boost his or her skills.

    The reasons why students from foreign countries decided to come to Russia had much in common, but also there were some differences. It is notable that most of them chose Summer School of SPbPU according to their friends and teachers testimonials, and also according to information on the website of the university. Read more …

    'I found information amount International Polytechnic Summer School from my teachers of my University in Belgium. I have already studied Russian language for five years, and here in St. Petersburg I can have a good practice of my Russian, for example, to improve my grammar. Also I wanted to see St. Petersburg, to walk around its streets, to visit different interesting places. I love Russian classes, and also Business culture class. It was interesting, because there we could learn something about entrepreneurship in Russia. I am sure that I can use this knowledge in my future career', - says Hans Geeroms (Ghent University, Belgium).

    Hans Geeroms

    'I have always been curious about Russian higher education. Information about International Polytechnic Summer School I found in the Internet: it was number one in the search system, and I was absolutely satisfied with its description. I like Russian language, it is very melodic for me, that is why I came here. In Poland I am studying Power Engineering, and a huge part of Polish energy industry is connected with Russia. So I am sure that in future I’ll use my Russian language knowledge effectively. I preferred educational module Exploring the Russian Heritage, - tells Sebastian Biakek (University of Silesia, Poland).

    Sebastian Biakek

    'It was easier for me to start learning Russian, because my parents are Russians. Here I just wanted to strengthen my reading and writing skills. I have done some Internet research, and I found Summer School in Russia. I think that English knowledge is not enough in the modern world, so I learn another foreign language, because I believe it will help me to make my future career. The life requires to know the second foreign language, let’s be realistic!' - says Tamara Malakhov (Southern Adventist University, the USA).

    Tamara Malakhov

    Not only students come to study to International Polytechnic Summer School: for instance, Ricardo Munoz came from Spain, where he has been working as a translator for many years.

    Ricardo Munoz

    'I have already studied Russian many years ago, and recently like a half a year ago I took a course again and I wanted to improve and to boost my Russian, and at the same time to visit St. Petersburg, so I decided to join International Polytechnic Summer School. I currently work as a translator, I mostly translate from English into Spanish, and sometimes I also have to find some information in other languages. So I think it would be quite useful for me in doing my current job. Here I am focused on a program ‘Speak Russian as a Professional’, but also I had a week of General Russian. I like them both, and I think that they are equally useful for me. ‘Speak Russian as a Professional’ provides me with specific knowledge, with specific terminology and expressions from professional speech, but I think that General Russian course is just as important as Professional Russian course, because if a person wants to speak properly in different fields, he or she has to know it', - supposes Ricardo.

Hans Geeroms, Sebastian Biakek, Tamara Malakhov, Ricardo Munoz, International Students come to Russia to learn Russian
Connor Dautel and Daniel Kuntz
  • One of the summer modules in the Russian language and culture was completed at the Higher School of International Educational Programs. Its participants were 17 students from the Georgia Institute of Technology, U.S. The month-long educational module presumed daily classes in the Russian language with division of students in three groups of different levels of complexity and a joint course in the culture of present-day Russia.  For the full immersion in the environment, the students were living not in the dormitory but in Russian families. Interaction with teachers, members of the hosting families, and each other in Russian was an important precondition of the program.  The outcomes are quite impressive:  practically all participants of the Summer School noted significantly improvement of their language skills. Connor Dautel and Daniel Kuntz, students of the Georgia Institute of Technology shared with the SPbPU International Services their impressions about their life in Russia and special features of the educational process. Read more …

    - Connor, Daniel, we are glad to see you! Could you please tell us about the interesting things that have happened this month? Did you enjoy living in Russia?  

    Connor: This really was an unbelievable experience. Up until now, getting out of my apartment, I keep thinking, “Could it be that I really am in Russia? I could never have expected that I would have such an opportunity!” It was rather worried to leave my country for so long and to go so far away, but when the hosting family greeted me with such warmth, all my scares and concerns just went away. I liked living and studying here, while constant communication with my new acquaintances and intensive studies gave me perfect language training. This month has practically changed my life, and for the better, of course.  

    Daniel: Living in Russia, I was feeling myself at home. We sometimes speak Russian at home because my mother and grandmother are Russian. My major goals for this month were to learn more about special features of the Russian language and improve my command of Russian.  And I am fully satisfied with the results. Speaking of living in Russia, I completely agree with Connor: this month gave me absolutely unique experience which I am very thankful for.

    - Were there any moments that surprised you or seemed quite unusual?

    Connor: I guess this was food. I know there are restaurants of Russian cuisine in America, but I have never been to any of those. Here I’ve tried many new dishes. Luckily, the taste of most of them I liked.

    Daniel: I would have never expected that Moscow would impress me more than St. Petersburg. Everybody keeps saying that St. Petersburg is the cultural capital of Russia, its cultural center; no doubt, its architecture and its style are magnificent. However, the spirit of Moscow is much closer to me: it reminded me of New York where I am from.

    - But there are lots of interesting things in St. Petersburg, aren’t they?

    Connor: Absolutely! I had been walking around the city for hours, scrutinizing the places of interest and trying to get the most of this month in Russia. St. Petersburg brings together unique things: the ancientness, culture, and modern trends. I fell in love with the heart of your city: Nevski Avenue.   

    Daniel: I would like to add that I very much enjoyed public transportation. The transportation network in St. Petersburg is very well developed: you can quickly get to any place in the city and, what is essential, it isn’t expensive. As far as tourist attractions are concerned, my strongest impression was Palace Square.  

    - And what would you advise to visit other foreign students coming to St. Petersburg?

    Connor: First of all, I would recommend to start with the traditional tourist route: the Hermitage, Russian Museum, a trip to Peterhof. However, I have also liked less popular places, often known only to the locals.  For example, you can find lots of cafés, restaurants, and shops in Sredni Avenue of Basil Island (Vasileostrovskaya metro station), which is a lot less crowded as compared to Nevski.

    Daniel: I agree that not to visit the major city attractions would have been a huge mistake. But after you will have got more or less acquainted with the city, make sure to ask local residents about other places of interest. For instance, I was advised to visit the flea market in Udelnaya; as it turned out, it belongs to the top ten flea markets in the world, right along with the markets of Tokyo, Paris, London, and Amsterdam.  

    - Would you advise tourists and foreign students to learn a little bit of Russian before coming to Russia?

    Connor: Of course I would advise to learn the basics of the Russian language; however, to a big extent it depends on the region you are going to. Notably, it would be a lot easier for English-speaking tourists to get around in St. Petersburg rather than in Moscow: this city has mush more signs and directions in English.  

    Daniel: If you are planning to stay in Russia for a longer period, than you should better learn at least the basics of Russian. Otherwise, you will have to stay in the center of St. Petersburg where there always are lots of tourists (laughing).

    - Did you have any communication problems during this month in Russia?

    Connor: My problem was my limited word stock; some things were difficult to understand. In particular, this concerned conversational phrases and terminology. However, people were always trying to help me, and, what I am especially thankful for, were patiently waiting until I would formulate my sentence in Russian without “switching” into English.  

    Daniel: I had no communication problems whatsoever; the difficulties I had were caused only by my knowledge of the Russian language. I was afraid to say something wrong, to make a mistake in a word or a sentence. However, it is important to understand that mistakes are a part of the educational process, and no progress is possible without them. Teachers’ assistance and support were helping us to move forward.  

    - Please tell us what would you remember in the intensive course on the Russian language most of all?

    Connor: Class studies in my group were primarily focused on syntax and grammar, usage of verbs in particular. This was very useful and helpful.

    Daniel: I would like to single out the lessons in which we discussed the events that were taking place in present Russia. It was very interesting to hear a variety of opinions and ideas.

    - In your opinion, how much have you improved your knowledge of Russian?

    Connor: I am now speaking Russian a lot more confidently. Back home, I will continue my intensive language practice. Thanks to the International Polytechnic Summer School, I could see the issues I should be working on to improve my Russian.

    Daniel: I was very glad to take part in the intensive Russian language course, and I would be happy to speak Russian with my relatives. And, of course, I would love to come back to Russia not once.

    - Would you advise your fellow students to take part in the International Polytechnic Summer School?

    Connor: Absolutely! I would recommend anybody interested in getting to a new level of Russian language command to take part in this intensive program.

    Daniel: I absolutely agree!

    Connor, Daniel, thank you so much for your interesting interview! We wish you all the success in learning the Russian language!

Connor Dautel and Daniel Kuntz, U.S. students took an intensive course of the Russian language within the frame of the International Polytechnic Summer School