Adventurer: a Polytechnic University student from Indonesia talks about life in Russia

28 June 2022 International activities 225

Herlin Idris came to St. Petersburg from Bogor, a city in Indonesia, which is on the island of Java. Herlin is the winner of the International Student Olympiad Open Doors: Russian Scholarship Project, and is a master's degree student at the Institute of Machinery, Materials, and Transport, where he studies new materials and additive technologies. Herlin says that by nature he is an adventurer, that is why he was not afraid to come to a distant country, get acquainted with the harsh Russian winter and fall in love with St. Petersburg with all his heart.

SPbPU student from Indonesia Herlin Idris

— Herlin, tell us, how did you choose the university to continue your studies?

— I was in my last year of undergraduate studies in Indonesia, and I was looking for where I could continue my studies. It was important to me that the new program was related to my previous education. The availability of a scholarship was also a serious criterion. That is how I found the website of the Open Doors: Russian Scholarship Project, which really opened the door for me to a new stage of education and opportunities

— Was it difficult to decide to come to Russia?

— To begin with, I’ve only been living in Russia for six months. Before that, because of the coronavirus pandemic, I had studied online. But I had no fears or concerns about coming here. I love learning new languages and getting to know new cultures. Russia is a big country, and people with a big heart live here.

— Do you remember your first impressions when you first arrived in St. Petersburg?

— I arrived in Russia in December. It was totally freezing - about 30 degrees below zero or something like that. I had two thoughts: “How cold it was!” and “How beautiful it was!” Despite the fact that I had prepared and brought warm clothes, it was not easy to adapt at first. But I got used to it pretty quickly. St. Petersburg is a city with a rich history and heritage. There is a rich cultural life here, many different events take place, and there are cafes and food courts everywhere where you can try something new. St. Petersburg is a great place for students and studies. And also there are kind and sympathetic people.

— Could you share how you prepared for moving to a new country?

— Of course, I read a lot about life in Russia on the Internet, and I also signed up for the accounts of several bloggers. They are guys from Indonesia who are already studying at Russian universities and share their experiences and impressions. So you could say I was getting information first-hand.

— Tell me about your studies at Polytechnic University, what do you study, what do you do?

— I am studying “New materials and additive technologies" program. I would say that my program is at the intersection of physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, and computational mechanics. I am really passionate about the learning process, and I want as many students as possible to learn about this program. What’s more, I want the whole world to know about it!

— What language do they teach you in?

— English. When I was looking for a college, this was important to me. I understand a little bit of Russian, and that’s enough for me in everyday life - I can go to the stores, go somewhere, buy a ticket and so on. But I prefer to study in English.

— Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in class?

— We do mathematical and physical modeling of industrial material production technologies, we make them using additive technologies, we do welding processes with modern high-tech equipment. For example, friction stir welding makes it possible to obtain such unique compounds as metal-polymer.

— Do you have a favorite subject?

— At the moment I’m concentrating as much as possible on my master's degree thesis; I really like the subject matter in which I’m doing my research. They are related to combining metals and polymers to produce materials with unique properties. In the future the results of the research could be applied in biomedicine or in the industrial sector - for example, aircraft construction, mechanical engineering, rocket science, and other industries.

— What is your impression of the professors at Polytechnic University?

— They are real professionals and are very warm to their students. In particular, I would like to mention my supervisor, Professor Anton Naumov. He is my guide to the science of materials science.

SPbPU student from Indonesia Herlin Idris spends a lot of time studying

— How are your relationships with your classmates?

— We get along well. I have students from Turkey and Nigeria in my group. Even though we are all from different countries, we share the same values. Of course, there are difficult moments, but what goes without them!.

— Do you already have plans for what you will do when you graduate?

— I have a few ideas. I’m thinking of starting to build a career and apply my knowledge in the real world, or maybe continue in postgraduate school or try to get an MBA.

— Would you recommend Polytechnic University to other foreign students?

— Absolutely! For me Polytechnic University is the best university in Russia. The time I spent here will always remain in my memory, it’s one of the best moments of my life. And, of course, I advise all international students to try their hand at the Open Doors Olympiad - and may you succeed!

Prepared by the SPbPU International Office

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