Zhao XIAOYU is grateful to SPbPU Representative Office in Shanghai: 'I am glad to be a Polytech student and I am ready to help other people love it as I did'
Nowadays handwriting letters are a very rare thing. In our world of the modern technologies it is much easier to write an SMS-message or send an email. That is why the paper letter that was sent to SPbPU Representative Office in Shanghai became a very curious event. Correspondents from SPbPU Media centre decided to learn, who and why has sent it. The letter was from the mother of one of the Chinese students, who has entered Polytech with the help of Shanghai office employees this year. This is the text of her letter:
Dear members of the SPbPU Representative Office!
I am Zhao Xiaoyu's mother. September 4, 2016 he went to study to Russia for pre-university training at Polytechnic University for the further studying for a Master's degree.
When our son decided to study abroad, we began to look for organizations which offered such kind of services on the Internet. But the price for such services was very high. We are ordinary people with average salary, and this is very expensive for us. While we were thinking, a friend of us told about SPbPU Representative Office in Shanghai. Employees from the representative office told us about an application process and helped us to arrange everything. They were very responsible and polite, and, what is important to mentions, it was free unlike conventional agencies do.
When our son came to Russia, SPbPU employees met him, handled the situation with the dormitory and helped him to register all other documents. We are very grateful to SPbPU international office for their help and attention they provided during the process of university entrance. We encourage our son to study, to overcome all the difficulties and wish him good luck in his studying. We also encourage him to help SPbPU representative office far as possible. Thank you very much!
Best Regards, Zhao Xiaoyu's parents
As we can see from the letter, Zhao Xiaoyu's mother (like any other mother whose child is far away from home) is worried about her son. Meanwhile Zhao Xiaoyu has already quite accustomed in our country: took a new Russian name Oleg, and also made some new friends, visited ancient cathedrals and loved Russian traditional soup borsh. Now he knows that St. Petersburg, Leningrad and Petrograd are the same city, and is ready to talk about Pushkin and Gogol. In his interview (and we hope his mother will read it) Oleg-Zhao shares his impressions about our city and Polytech, compares living conditions in Russian and Chinese dormitories and even gives advice to the Chinese students who doubt about going to study to our country. And, of course, he thanks the employees of the SPbPU representative office, who helped him enter Polytech.
- Zhao, what university did you study in China, and why did you decide to continue your education in Russia?
- I graduated Hubei University of Automotive Technology. I am a Bachelor of Engineering. When I understood that I need toget experience of studying abroad I chose Russia. The city Harbin, where I was born, is near to the Russian border: that is why having insights into Russia is very prospectively. I know about Mendeleev and Lomonosov: they were outstanding scientists. They made contributions to the different sciences: Chemistry and Physics, History and even Literature. I know about Russian writers: Pushkin, Chekhov, Lev Tolstoy and Gorky. But because my specialization is Engineering, I also know about Russian inventors and that here, in Russia, there is an opportunity to have a really decent education in this sphere. I can also add that in comparison with other foreign countries the studying here is not very expensive.
- But why St. Petersburg?
-– When I watched Russian cities and thought which one to choose for studying, of course, I fell in love with St. Petersburg! This is an incredible city with amazing history and architecture. The history of your city I have also learnt on the Internet. I know that the founder of St. Petersburg was Peter the Great, that then the city was named Petrograd and Leningrad. And the most serious page in its history which astonished me most of all is the siege of Leningrad which had lasted about three years. It is very tragically and sad. In general I decided that precisely in St. Petersburg I can have valuable knowledge and get acquainted with the Russian culture.
- Well, and the logical question – why Polytech?
- I've chosen Polytech because it is popular in China. Besides my acquaintance is studying here and he told me that here are lots of Chinese students, so even if you are not good at Russian, you won't feel lonely here, because everywhere are your compatriots (Zhao is laughing). As I've already told, in China I'd chosen Engineering, because I wanted to become an engineer, and when I read the information about Russian Universities, Polytech is considered one of the best Russian universities.
- So have you made a decision according to your friend's opinion?
- No, not only because of it. With my parents we were searching and analyzing the information. For example, my parents had read in Chinese Media about opening of SPbPU Representative Office in Shanghai, and I saw the information in Chinese Social Network 'WECHAT' about online student recruitment to SPbPU through this office. Lots of information we also found at the representative office's site: it's very comfortable, that it's not only in Russian, but also in Chinese.
At first, when I made a decision to study in Russia my mother was against this idea. But my father said I had to develop my skills and knowledge abroad, and my mother agreed. My parents have always been in touch with the members of the SPbPU representative office, who helped me manage different issues: documents, further information, conditions, etc. Then they made me an invitation for my visa, helped me with the organization and quickly answered many different questions. My parents were so afraid of letting me go alone to an unknown country that my mother even asked the representative office to meet me at the airport, and they did us a favor.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to the members of the SPbPU Representative Office in Shanghai for their help and support. I've already informed them I wanted to help other Chinese students who come to study to Polytech. I've already met some students, have shown them campus and have shared my experience. I see they feel confused, and I want to provide them a support – as I've had myself.
- What program are you studying at Polytechnic University?
- During University Foundation program besides Russian language we study Math, Physics, Chemistry and Information Technology. I'll be studying here for a year, and then I want to enter Institute of Metallurgy, Mechanical Engineering and Transport and take my Master's degree.
- How do your lessons look like?
- The lessons are in Russian, but our teachers speak both English and French. It's very comfortable for the students from the USA or Algeria who study with me. There are 12 people in our group. We study from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm.
Truly speaking, it's very difficult for me to study Russian. Besides before entering SPbPU, in China I've studied hard the Russian courses for 2 months. Some Russian sounds are very difficult to pronounce: that’s why I've chosen the Russian name Oleg because it's easy to speak (Zhao is smiling).
- Do you live in the dormitory?
- Yes, my dormitory is at Higher School of International Educational Programs. Our lessons take place there, so it's very comfortable, because we don't need to drive somewhere. I like my room very much: there is warm, especially now when there is so cold outdoors. I have three neighbors; all of them are from China. We help each other with our studying: for example, with writing dictations.
When I studied in China I also lived in the dormitory. But here, in Polytech, it is much better: the rooms are bigger, and they are very cozy. In the Chinese dormitory there were 6 people in a room, and a bathroom was the only for the whole floor. Here a bathroom is almost in every room.
- What do you do during your free time?
- I like playing basketball and computer games, and, of course, as any Chinese I love cooking. In St. Petersburg there are Chinese shops, but I buy everything in a usual supermarket. Also in the morning you can have breakfast free at Polytech: porridge, bread and tea – and it's perfect! We cook Chinese food with our neighbors and eat it all together. From Russian cuisine I love borsch, but I don't like brown bread at all – it's sour and firm.
I love walking around the city, especially in the centre. There are lots of beautiful cathedrals and old buildings. I've been to St. Isaac and Kazan Cathedrals and Church of the Savior on blood. Also I like going to the museums. I've been to the Military Museum and Hermitage. There are lots of interesting exhibits, but most of all I like fine arts. Besides the studying there are lots of interesting events at Polytech I take part in: for example, international festival ‘Golden Autumn’.
- Do you communicate with Russian students?
- Unfortunately, not so much as I would like to, because I still have the difficulties with the Russian language. I have friends Masha and Lisa, we've met at the Halloween party. I was in their dormitory and met some other Russian students. With my new Russian friends we most often chat in the Social Networks. At the shops or in the street I try to speak Russian. I read headings in the underground, I know, that my dormitory is at the Akademicheskaya metro station, so I won't lost here (Zhao is laughing).
- Do you like studying at Polytech?
- Of course I do! I am happy to be the student of this university and I am ready to help other students love it. This is the university with rich history and interesting traditions, and it's very beautiful here – especially in the park and in the main building.
- What also could you advice Chinese students who would like to come here to study?
- Start studying Russian while being in China. It's better to come to Russia having at least a little knowledge. Here you should communicate more and not being afraid of speaking Russian. Parents also shouldn't worry about their child's safety.
- Zhao, thank you very much for your interesting story! We wish you good luck in your studying and learning Russian!
Prepared by Media-Center and International Education Office