Mohammad Hammache from Artois University in Arras, France, is a student at the MCU’s Institute of Foreign Languages. He has applied for an internship in foreign languages education at MCU and now lives in Moscow. In this interview Mohammed shares his impressions and gives advice to prospective international students.
Why did you decide to study at MCU?
Last year, I had a discussion with Professor Svetlana Mikhaylova that motivated me to take a closer interest in the FLE teaching at MCU and to do my internship here. In addition, Russia is one of the countries I have always dreamed of visiting, especially Moscow and Saint Petersburg. As a result, I took advantage of my internship here to fulfill this dream.
What kind of research are you engaged in?
This year we are only supposed to do an observation internship. However, I can say that I am very interested in the different methods of teaching FLE all over the world. From an educational point of view, this will be a plus for me as a future teacher of French as a foreign language.
Tell about the arrangements you had to make before and after arriving in Moscow. Was it difficult?
First, I received the invitation from MCU. After that, I filed my visa application in Paris. 48 hours after the deposit, I got my passport back with a valid visa. During this waiting period, I booked the ticket and started to prepare my departure.
I took the plane and when I arrived at the airport, two MCU students mandated by Professor Mikhaylova met me there. These two students worked hard to integrate me into the life in Moscow. Honestly, I have not had any difficulties living here. The only thing that may have been hard is that I do not speak Russian.
What are your impressions of living in Moscow?
People are very nice and they are always there to help me but I do not speak their language. In addition, I find the organization of public transport very good and convenient even for foreigners. The use of the underground and buses is very convenient.
From a cultural point of view, I find the city very dynamic. The artists who play concerts at the underground station “Kurskaya” that I see every day when I return from university – that is really what I love. Metro stations are a special cultural treat. Their architecture reflects the artistic life of Moscow and Russia in general. The carriages are equipped with a free wi-fi network accessible to all passengers and metro users.
As far as museums are concerned, I find that the prices are attractive for both national and international students (you just have to present an international student card, ISIC, which is initially a bank card provided by the banks to students).
The city is also equipped with a free and open wi-fi network for all citizens of Moscow.
What attractions in Moscow have you visited?
I visited the Red Square and two museums. I also went to the Moscow’s cathedral mosque, whose architecture and calligraphic ornament impressed me greatly. On the weekends, I go out for a walk in a large park not far from the hotel where I live. There is a lake in the park.
When I finish my work at the university, I often allow myself to walk around the city to discover it. Thus, I visited the Cathedral of Christ the Savior located in front of the Pushkin’s Museum of Fine arts. I really enjoyed it, especially for its cultural and historical artistic richness.
Can you give a piece of advice to our new-comers?
Learning Russian before coming here is a good piece of advice. In addition, I recommend to have an ISIC student card to benefit from student discounts at the various artistic and cultural institutions of Moscow.
For those who come from France, I can also recommend the telephone operator “Free” for the quality and quantity of connection it offers.
Will you recommend your peers to study at MCU?
Yes, I strongly recommend students to enroll in one of the MCU’s exchange or internship programs.