My name is Jan Pavlíčko and I am 25 years old. I came to Krasnoyarsk from the Czech Republic (Czechia) where I study Process technology at Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague. I am trying to expand my technical knowledge in various ways, so that is also the reason why I am currently studying the second master degree and simultaneously working as a designer in University Centre for Energy Efficient Buildings CTU in Prague. I like to do sport, go outdoors, read books about astrophysics and quantum mechanics, watch movies. A very important part of my life is music which I not only like to listen but also compose and play.
When I began my second master’s degree the head of our department asked me if I was thinking about studying abroad and I said “not yet”. After some time I decided to try it because it is a known fact that worldwide collaboration is nowadays very important, therefore I am convinced that studying abroad in generally very useful for further education, personal development and future employment. First of all, I knew that I wanted to study in Russia because I have always been fascinated by Russian culture, people, history and magnificent nature. Our university had an overview of foreign universities so I focused my search on Siberian part of Russia. I chose Reshetnev University because I had been provided with great references about this university from a former CTU student. Than the presentation of the university itself made a very good impression on me and the location in Krasnoyarsk in Siberia suits me well. To be specific, studying in Russia is an opportunity for me to learn third world language and experience something very different (facing different problems and solving them) and look at things from a different perspective – be open-minded and learn how to integrate in an unknown place. And now here I am.
I think that everything I had expected before visiting Russia was somehow fulfilled. Lots of people for instance think that in the middle of Siberia will be no possibility to get something (food, clothes, internet, electronics ...) but I was sure that it would not be a problem and I was right. Actually, I was surprised that in most places I can pay with credit card and also the traffic lights have countdowns. And the way letting people know that it is 12 o’clock by firing cannon from the top of the hill is just the best.
Maybe the only thing I thought will be faster is learning Russian when I take into account that all my lessons are in Russian language. I do not think it is hard to learn Russian for Slavic people. For instance, there are a lot of similarities between Russian and Czech language but it’s also challenging because sometimes I think that the Czech word is the same in Russian but it is not. So after a month the language is still the greatest challenge for me. The style of teaching is also a bit different – in Czechia we do not have to come in front of the blackboard and communicate or do something there in front of the class. For the most of our lectures teachers have presentations as a backup and study materials for every subject are available on the internet. In Czech we are in large numbers in the class and I think that we do not stick together like the students do in Russia. So generally speaking, I think in Czechia it is more anonymous and the subjects are rather theoretically based.
After a month here I was able to find many new friends and I am still making new ones. Some of them speak English too, so it is mutually beneficial – I improve my Russian and they improve their English. From my point of view, many people here are very kind, try to help with everything and they are very enthusiastic to talk with exchange students about their lifestyle, culture etc. The weather here has been so far pleasant for outdoors activity with those friends and the Yenisei River was not as cold as I’ve expected but I love winter so I am still waiting for my favorite season. In winter I am definitely going to Stolby (Столбы) again. Nature here is beautiful but everything is very far away in comparison to Europe so I wish I had more time to explore.
A few words for the end of my story: I think the most important thing except documents are electronic devices that students usually use (notebook, mobile device, power bank ...) and some clothes in dependence on the season. But you can buy almost anything here if you forget something. Personally, I am glad that I brought with me Russian external keyboard and warm clothes. And the final message: if you want to experience something different and gain experience like nowhere else in the world, I definitely recommend going. Siberia will surprise you.