Hello from Madrid: SPbPU student talked about the pre-examination preparations at Technical University of Madrid

14 January 2019 Education 554

The winter examination session inevitably comes after the New Year holidays. There is no sense to resist that: a lot wiser is to get ready and pass the exams in the best possible way. The 5th grade student of the Institute of Civil Engineering of SPbPU Arthur KUZMINYKH has been studying at Technical University of Madrid (UPM), one of SPbPU strategic partners.  He got there within the frame of the Erasmus+ Project. As Arthur confessed, this had been his dream to go to a different country and get the first-hand experience of studying abroad. Despite certain differences between Russian and Spanish universities, the winter examination session is present at both. Arthur is getting ready to it along with other students.  You can read about the preparation to it, education process at UPM, and the creative projects implemented during the semester in our interview. 

CEI student Arthur Kuzminykh went to the Technical University of Madrid within the frame of the Erasmus+ Project manager

- Arthur, you’ve been studying in Madrid for several months. Could you please tell us about the specifics of studying there and the things that impressed you most of all?

- SPbPU and UPM have a lot in common. Most of all I would remember that here, in Spain, you can come to study early in the morning and stay here until late night. And this is not because of lots of classes: there is a perfect networking area here, with many open-access lectures and workshops. I’ve taken part in those not once, and I consider them as a remarkable element of multidimensional development.

At one of the excursions, UPM students got to learn about the creative works of architect Santiago Kalatrava

- Was there anything new for you at the lectures?

- A huge number of presentations. Just you imagine: practically for each class you must prepare a presentation and tell other classmates about your homework. And you know, after a while, I realized how much easier it was for me to speak in front of the audience and present my ideas in a literate way. The learning process is taking place in English, and for this reason, it was twice as useful.

- Was it difficult for you to adapt to the life in a different country and find common language with other students?

- No, for me, it was not. It helped that I had been dreaming about studying in another country, and I was very much inspired and motivated by the fact that my dreams came true. However, in the very beginning, I had to resolve several issues. This concerned, in particular, the housing: there are no student dormitories at UPM. Besides, far from everybody speaks English in Madrid; luckily, you can take a course of Spanish at UPM, and I grasped that advantage. After a while, I could converse in Spanish more fluently. People here are very nice and communicative.

The Francis Kéré exhibit produced a major impression on the students

- The exams at Polytechnic University are very close already. Are you getting ready for the exams at UPM?

- Sure! We all are getting ready for the exams; in addition, we had our creative projects.

- Like what, for example?

- One of the most broad-scale projects was the architectural one. It was focused on the migration of people from African countries. Each student presented their architectural solution for a mobile and functional camp erected of mechanisms, blocks and structures with the complex development of the urban space.

In another discipline from our curriculum we could choose the topic on our own. I worked with the architecture of an American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the founder of the so-called “organic architecture.” My goal was to assemble a set of construction blocks using which it would be possible to reconstruct Wright’s architectural style.

Another project was more like a business-case: various groups were offering alternative materials for the already existing items. For example, our team was working on mail boxes and boxes for delivering services: it was important to find the cheapest materials or the materials that could be used in 3D printing.

Students at Madril Polytechnic University frequently participate in networking and workshops

- What piece of advice would you give to other students planning to go abroad for studying?

- Be who dares! You will get a unique experience which you will certainly appreciate. Don’t be afraid of any difficulties; you will mange. Don’t worry about the foreign language; you will start speaking when there! And good luck to you!

- Arthur, thank you very much for the interesting interview! We wish you all the luck with your exams!

Prepared by International Academic Cooperation Department

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