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Thread: Share Your MGU Experience - Please!

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    Share Your MGU Experience - Please!

    As mentioned in several other topics in six weeks or so, I leave for Moscow to study Russian at MGU for an entire academic year. While I've come across a lot of helpful folks, both here and on other forums, I've found almost no one who has attended MGU, especially Americans.

    So, if you don't mind, please share your experiences - good and bad - with me so I am not travelling to Russia completely "unarmed." I intend to stay in Russia a long time and get a full bachelor's degree from MGU (or another Russian university), so I figure that the old "forewarned is forearmed" can only lead to a positive experience there.

    Thanks in advance!
    "I like poetry, long walks on the beach and poking dead things with a stick."
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    JB
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    My girlfriend from NY and I are both 100% American and went to MGU (but only for a summer program). I loved my teachers but the Russian education system is WAY different than in the USA. I don't think I'd be able to handle a whole year of it.
    When you sign in you'll be given proposks for everything, dorm, campus buildings, etc. Don't loose them and NEVER throw out any receipt you get (make sure you always get a receipt)for making any kind of payment for school, dorms, etc.
    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

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    Why did you go to MGU?
    Листьев не обожгло, Веток не обломало
    День промыт как стекло, только этого мало

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    i was in the forigh language fac for 5 months (will be there again in august) and thought it was great (its like 90% women!! )
    the learning style is WAY different but didnt cause me any probs. the only class i didnt like was monday conversation talking about things like переименование - sleepy stuff!
    Не откладывай на завтра того, с кем можешь переспать сегодня
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Columbo
    i was in the forigh language fac for 5 months (will be there again in august) and thought it was great (its like 90% women!! )
    Yeah, foreign lang dept. is extremely girl-oriented, so to say. I'm in the know like nobody else.
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    JB
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    My roommate and I were in the Russian language program.
    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Columbo
    i was in the forigh language fac for 5 months (will be there again in august) and thought it was great (its like 90% women!!
    I think I'll be just fine. On a serious note, I'm not going there to hang out with American expats, and I'm going to do my best to avoid speaking English as much as possible (for the simple fact that I want to become fluent in Russian). I have a very good friend who spent two years (non-consecutive) in France and he's given me advice on how I can pick up the language quickly. He refused to hang out with Anglophones while in France, and while I don't intend to "refuse" to hang out with them in Russia, I intend to spend as much time as possible around the language, hence learning it.

    His dorm in France was similar to the one I'm supposed to have at MGU, but they didn't even have a shared toilet in the single rooms, they had a shared shower and common toilets!

    I'm SO ready to leave, but I'm leaving my entire life behind - I'm 25 yrs. old and I'm leaving behind my friends, family and my entire life. I'm looking forward to this nonetheless, but it's still going to be a shocker to go to Moscow for an entire year after spending my entire life in a single central Florida city!

    Any anecdotes regarding dorm life and the life around MGU (in particular Metro Universitet) will be much appreciated. I'm looking to have the best time possible, and I think information is the best weapon against culture shock. Well, that and Night Flight.
    "I like poetry, long walks on the beach and poking dead things with a stick."
    Skype - el_casey

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    JB, which dormitory did you stay in again? I'm hoping to find a better map of the campus.

    According to an "orientation sheet" from SRAS, the dormitory I'll be staying in is on the corner of Ул. Лебедева and Хохлова. Is this a different dormitory than you stayed in?

    Also, does MGU group all/most foreign students together, or is it all together, Russians and foreigners? Are the dormitories co-ed?

    And most importantly, because I haven't found much so far, what is there to do around Metro Universitet?

    *EDIT: According to a map on Studyrussian.com (which seems to be the European counterpart to SRAS) "The MGU guest hostel is located in the main building (zone E, 6/7th floor). There is a entrance right from 'uliza Lebedeva'. " Is this where you stayed, JB? This is where the single rooms are, so I imagine this is where I will stay, and I was told I would live in the main building.
    "I like poetry, long walks on the beach and poking dead things with a stick."
    Skype - el_casey

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    El Casey, I was at MGU for one month in Spring 2003. I had a homestay and didn't go into the dorms, but I was told that the foreigners live on a floor different than the Russians, and that they have nicer accomodations.

    There is nothing to do at M. Universitetskaya other than the circus there. The metro itself is in like a little mall, which you can cover in an hour or so. You can go up to the 28th floor of the main university bldg. where they have a great geological museum, plus a long view towards the Center.

    OTOH, you just buy a multiple-ride metro ticket and you can travel to places where there *is* something to do. I suppose you have bought a travel book, so you will have info on all the local sights.

    The main building is pretty nice, lots of stone and marble. I had classes in a smaller one, which was really crummy. Floors rotting, bathrooms stunk like a barn.

    One guy in the group I was with had to change money in the main bldg., and he got a very poor rate, so it would be best to ask someone where to get your rubles from.

    A couple of places I visited can be found here:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~ko7dun/Russi ... index.html

    Hope you have your digital camera ready. I'm sure you will have fun. Удачи!

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    the russians are on the higher floors 10,12 etc. floor 6 seemed to be germans and floor 7 was 100% chinese (well almost).
    it did seem as if the russian floors were a bit more, shall we say, dilapidated but there again all the floors are kinda like that!
    the rooms are a bit like dusty box cupboards but you get used to it.
    around uni metro there's a small market and a strip club called пузырь, but its quite small and not that great (beer's fairly cheap tho).
    red square is about 20 mins away on the red line and if you need to change money you can use the slightly dodgy kiosks near (most) metro stations
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    El Casey,

    I'm sure you'll do fine...but I would give one piece of good advice. Surviving, and loving, Russia is largely about the friendships you create there. Developing strong, close Russian friends...true druzia...takes time and commitment, but they are the soul of Russia.

    I wish we, from the U.S., cherished the same idea of true friends as Russia does.

    Good luck to you, and have fun!

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    Chaika, great photos, thanks for the link! I have a decent (5 megapixel) digital camera, and I will look like an idiot tourist taking pictures of everything - but I enjoy photography and intend to work on a fairly comprehensive website with all the photos, if only to "appease" the folks back home since I've gotten a very surprising amount of interest in this experience from people I previously considered uninterested in Europe, period.

    Columbo, I'd heard about пузырь before, but never got a name. I'm all for cheap beer and I'm all for strip clubs. Much as I call my personal favorite pub here "my office" (because I can get a wireless signal in there for my laptop) I'm hoping to find a place nearby school other than my room where I can drink a few beers while working on my laptop (which will require a wireless signal). If you are indeed going back this late-summer, maybe we can link up for a пиво.

    Dobry, I did read some telling information to that effect in the "Culture Shock!" series book entitled "Moscow At Your Doorstep" (I think that's the whole title). The book was definitely geared more toward people going there to work in a corporate environment, rather than toward students, but it made exceptionally clear that without true friendships you will find yourself in a bad spot - both unable to get important tasks completed, and certainly unable to "get ahead" and outperform any quotas you may be faced with. I tend to make friends easily but I do have a very small core of extremely good friends and I don't lump them in with everyone else. I'm definitely looking forward to leaving behind false sincerity and the whole "let's do lunch" type of attitude.

    A pal of mine (Brian, the guy who runs yoshkar.com) didn't spend much time in Moscow but he's convinced that anything with a lock is burgled, that I have a high chance of being kidnapped because I'm an American and that 99.9% of my current expectations will be eliminated within a month of getting to Russia. I'm not that pessimistic, but I know I'm going to have to completely scrap my small-townish, trusting attitude that I currently have.

    No matter what, I'm looking forward to going and I'm mentally ready.
    "I like poetry, long walks on the beach and poking dead things with a stick."
    Skype - el_casey

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    i think one of the best places for a beer is a chain of pubs called кружка, cheap, good atmosphere and easy to meet people.
    as for being to trusting, i didnt find that a problem. i went out on my own on christmas eve, met some russians, went to a club, had some food and we all got trahshed! it wsa a good night
    its very easy to meet people because they take an interest in where you're from etc
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Casey
    I'm not that pessimistic, but I know I'm going to have to completely scrap my small-townish, trusting attitude that I currently have.

    No matter what, I'm looking forward to going and I'm mentally ready.
    Just hang around the guys who know the ropes, and you'll be fine. Possibly you can even find a few willing to show you around (and practice English in return) right here on this forum.
    I've got a TV, and I'm not afraid to use it

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    here is a pic i took of the main building at night: http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b254/ ... 9a3d58.jpg
    Не откладывай на завтра того, с кем можешь переспать сегодня
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    Hi, El Casey. I'm pretty sure you'll like it there (i mean here ) at MGU, though you may find yourself a bit... er... depressed by your room's interior (I remember a face one American had when he entered the room ).
    And BTW don't try to pay everyone who agrees to help you (as lot's of foreigners try to do). I remember I helped a guy from the States to find his dorms and arrange some papers since he looked completely lost. And when we were saying our goodbyes he offered me a twenty. I was really pissed off. Well, on the other hand the other helper grabbed the money. So be careful.
    Oh, and I remember those funny packs of Americans and Europeans timidly wandering around the place. I doubt they learned any Russian chatting with their compatriots. Don't be afraid to leave your group from time to time. At least you'll be able to catch some funny jokes people will be making of your group from afar.

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