My name is Siphesihle Bright Dlamini and I am currently studying Aeronautical Engineering (Engineering Exploitation of Flying Machines and Engines). I came all the way from Swaziland, a country located on the southern part of Africa.
One thing worth mentioning about me is that I am a sports fanatic and I love airplanes so much, which is why I chose aviation. Speaking about soccer, chess, horse riding and hiking: you cannot tell me a thing about any of those. Recently, I started swimming lessons and yes, I am still learning but then it’s just a matter of time before I get it right.
“One of the best universities in Russia”
One day I heard there was an opportunity to study in Russia, so like everyone I applied. I had to list six universities in the Application Form, where I would love to study. I went through the list of the universities with aeronautical engineering in Russia and Reshetnev University was among them. I knew right away that I had to study at the university because it featured as one of the best universities in Russia and I just loved its exotic, phenomenal location. Where else do you expect to experience the real Russian culture and traditions if not in Siberia where foreigners are still being welcomed with a smile?
“What it feels like to be a celebrity”
After being awarded the scholarship to study in Russia, I became more interested in knowing about life in Siberia. I surfed the Internet and I remember some stories about bears strolling on streets and I was like “Oh my goodness it looks like I’m in for trouble here.” Trust me or not but I haven’t seen one up to this date, even though sometimes I just take a walk in awkward places with some small fear that I might see one. My greatest fear though was being subjected to racism since I am African. Up to my surprise, I found that none of that existed here despite the fact that there are few blacks in Siberia.
Each time when I am exploring the city (Krasnoyarsk) I have a lot of people asking to take photos with me, which gives the experience of what it feels like to be a celebrity.
“The severe cold”
Challenges are everywhere and we cannot run away from them, but rather we must brace ourselves and hope for the best. One mega challenge I had when I arrived in Siberia was the severe cold. I had some few jackets from Swaziland with me but then they just couldn’t stand the Siberian cold.
Well, I adapted to the cold and just when it was beginning to feel like home, summer came. I was surprised to see temperatures shooting up to +35 and in my mind I was like: “somebody took me back to Africa, I am suffocating here.” Temperatures are quite extreme in Siberia, beyond that there is nothing to worry about.
“Russian language is quite hard”
Russian language is quite hard to be honest though my experience of learning it has been quite a good one: I suppose it’s because I had a good teacher who was always willing to help thus I fell in love with reading different Russian articles, watching Russian movies and speeches on my own.
One word that still gives me a challenge up to today is sootvestvenno:
“Here in Russia they rely on a grading system”
The teaching methods used at the university do not differ that much from those that are being used in my country. The only thing that differs is the grading system. In my country we use letters, while here in Russia they rely on a grading system based on numbers with the best results recorded as A* and 5 respectively.
“Russian people are friendly”
It’s been a year since I have been living in Russia and yes, I have made several friends.
Making friends here is only a matter of understanding the Russian language and then reaching out to different people, attending some social events and so on. Russian people are friendly by nature and sometimes you find that some of the people you meet know English, which makes things easier for both parties.
“A place completely isolated from the city”
Like I alluded before, Siberia is a place where you get to experience more about Russia. Not long ago, I went camping at Biryusa, a place completely isolated from the city. The place was calm, I enjoyed watching at the stars from above and that just gave me a relaxed state of mind after a long year of lessons after lessons.
“Russia is the best country in aviation”
I am sure that studying aeronautical engineering in Russia will be great advantage for me, putting in consideration that Russia is one of the leading countries when it comes to aviation. Okay, that was just an understatement; Russia is the best country in aviation. Without Russia we wouldn’t be talking about the International Space Station(ISS), bear in mind that it was the first country to reach into outer space and… okay that’s far enough, if you want to know more, just catch the next flight and enrol in Reshetnev University.
What to bring?
Students coming to Russia need to bring souvenirs from their countries to give to their friends to be, photo albums to show to their friends or look at when they miss their countries, families and friends.
As for clothing, I would say students need to bring enough money with them to buy warm clothes because it’s much easier to undermine the kind of cold we have here and end up buying “light jackets”, which according to you are suitable for winter.
“There is more than just education to explore in Siberia”Enough with the talking. It’s time to apply. If you want to be proud of a decision you ever took in life- it has got to be this one. Remember: as we try to obtain a living, we should not forget how to live. Our university offers both, you earn your world recognized qualification and also get to know more about Russia since there is more than just education to explore in Siberia.