TOMSK, Oct 10 – RIA
Tomsk. More than 400 students of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) annually practice abroad. So, first-year master's student
Alena Zavyalova in 2019 spent a semester at Polytechnic University of Milan
(Italy). In an interview with RIA Tomsk she told how educational approaches
differ and what technologies Italian lecturers use.
University of Milan (Politecnico di Milano) is considered the largest technical
university in Italy. According to open sources, about 40 thousand students
study in it. In 2019, the university took the 16th place in the world among
technical universities according to the Top Universities rating compiled by
Times Higher Education.
© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
Polytechnic University – is the leading technical university of the country.
It's founded in 1896 as Tomsk Technological Institute of Practical Engineers of
Emperor Nicholas II. It became the first engineering university in the Asian
part of the country. Today TPU – is the largest technical university beyond the
Urals; enters the top 10 universities of Russia and the top 400 universities of
the world. Since 2013 participates in the "5-100" program to increase
competitiveness in the world.
technical university in Italy – it's technology literally in everything. For
example, in lectures, the teacher uses certain smartphone applications to mark
the attendance of students or to conduct some quick survey on the topic of the
lecture. On the one hand, this is an element of the game, on the other – very
convenient tool for our work", – says Alena.
The idea to get
acquainted personally with a foreign education came to Tomsk citizen when she
was not yet a TPU student.
about the opportunity to study abroad from friends who studied at the
Polytechnic. It was 2018, and then I just graduated from another Tomsk
university. In September I entered the master's degree program of the Tomsk
Polytechnic, and then I applied to its center for work with students, where
they gave me full information about possible practices and internships", –
explains the girl.
The road to
Italy was a long one. The master's student of the School of Engineering
Entrepreneurship (Alena entered the direction of Engineering Entrepreneurship)
collected the necessary documents for several months. Student's card, for
example, had to be translated into Italian and notarized. When all the
documents were ready, the visa process began.
employees actively helped – to understand the complex process of submitting
documents, prepare for the trip, and so on. In addition, the university
allocated a scholarship for me to study abroad. As a result, in February my
plane landed in Milan – I became a Tomsk-Milan student", – recalls
© предоставила Алена Завьялова
Polytechnic University of Milan does not require knowledge of the Italian language from foreign students. Fluency in English is enough – it became the key that opened the door for Alena to join the international team of the university.
an Italian accent
I applied for training in Rome, and then changed my mind and entered Milan. I
was a little worried that I had made the wrong choice. It seemed to me that
there was nothing to see besides the Duomo (the cathedral located in the
historical center of Milan). Now I understand that was mistaken. Milan – is an
amazing city!", – says the student.
with the city and Polytechnic University of Milan began with the so-called
"welcome week". "I was assigned Baddy – an Italian who studies
at the university, and shows it to a particular student. He was supposed to
help get started, learn local rules and so on. To be honest, my Baddy was a
little passive. I learned more about the university from new friends who met in
the early days", – recalls the Tomsk native.
She adds that
the university teachers offered courses to all new students: "I chose two –
"Logistics" and "Leadership and Innovation". Considering
that I am a humanist, and logistics – is calculations and analysis, then for me
it’s quite big load. It was difficult, but interesting, including thanks to the
very technologies during the lectures".
part of the training consisted of preparing a project for a specific customer.
The group in which Tonsk citizen was listed worked with Adidas. "We
created a solution that would allow the company to enter the e-sports market.
This is a special order for the university. In general, many well-known
companies cooperate with the university. For example, Zara arranged for as a
trip to warehouses to show how logistics works", – says Zavyalova.
In her opinion,
education in Milan and Tomsk Polytechnics is differ by the organization of
student work: "The Italian university is more focused on independent work.
Teachers work with a large group: they spread the material, and we understand
it. For me, this is a minus. In TPU, for example, we get an individual
approach. As a result, there are no gaps in understanding the topics of the
group, most of the students – are Italians. They kept themselves somewhat
separate from the others. Therefore, I mostly talked with visitors. We have
formed a friendly, good international team", – recalls Alena.
spent breaks between couples, as in Tomsk, in classrooms or in cafe: "The
difference – I never found the student cafeteria. There are, of course, a lot
of cafes, but they are quite expensive. The ideal option – is to find a free
audience, work there for laptop and dine homemade food. Audiences are always
open, access is free".
There was no
access control at the university as a whole; entrance by cards was only to the
to me that security is weak in this sense. Perhaps that is why thefts are
stolen at the university. Bags, phones, laptops – man steal everything.
Therefore, it is important to take things from the audience with, even if you
go out just to call. At TPU, we are used to security – threw a backpack in the
audience and went", – says the student.
surprise for Tomsk citizens was the price of rental housing and food: "I
read on the Internet that Milan – is an expensive city, but did not imagine the
scale of the disaster. I was looking for an apartment for a long time. As a
result, I rented it for two with another Russian student. The price – is 700
euros by two. Prices in stores – are 2-3 times higher than Tomsk. In general,
it was a shock".
To home with new
in a foreign university – is a huge step forward. This is an opportunity to
become part of an international student team. Now I have many ideas, I want to
participate in international work at my university, at TPU. It is also a
language experience, communication. This is an opportunity to make new
connections, which are useful for study, science and life in general", – summarizes
the student of two polytechnics.
Polytechnic University has about 90 agreements with foreign universities on
academic mobility programs. The most popular countries for internships among
polytechnics – are China, Czech Republic, Germany. Grades received by students
in foreign partner universities are re-read at TPU and subsequently entered in
the appendix to the graduate’s diploma.
For its part,
TPU annually accepts about 350 students from China, Kazakhstan, Germany, India
and other countries to study under inter-university agreements. The most
popular areas of study for them – are computer science and computer
engineering, electric power and electrical engineering, software engineering,
biotechnology, nuclear physics and technology.
In addition to the
program of academic mobility, polytechnics can get an internship at a foreign
university according to federal grants. Earlier it was reported that TPU became
the leader among non-capital universities and the second in Russia in the
number of president scholarships for studying students and graduate students
According to the
data for the beginning of the academic year 2019/2020, immediately 10
polytechnics will go for internships at universities in France, Belgium, Spain,
Germany, Portugal, China, Czech Republic and the UK. The president’s
scholarship includes tuition, visa, travel to and from the place of study,
accommodation, medical insurance and local transportation. Fellows receive the
opportunity to study from one semester to 10 months.
It was also
previously reported that Tomsk and Milan Polytechnic universities are
implementing several joint projects. In particular, they launched the
"Chemical Engineering" professional retraining program for
"SIBUR Holding" PJSC specialists.
This is a
modular program in which, in addition to chemical technology, there will be
sections on lean manufacturing, information technology and big data. The
program will also include a soft skills module, which will be conducted by
specialists from the scientific and technological university "Sirius"
(Sochi), where the final defense of the cases will take place at the end of the