American Life of a Student From NMSTU

The USA has changed her view of life. We talked to a student from NMSTU, who has spent six months already at Snow College (UT, USA) as part of an exchange program.

Ekaterina Yamangarina, a student of the Institute of Humanities, Department of the English Language, shared her impressions about her new life started almost six months ago. Having won the competition for the YEAR Program (Year of Exchange in America for Russians), Ekaterina was among outstanding young Russians, who were provided with an opportunity to study for free at the US university or college following personal interests and preferred areas of studies. Moreover, this program, fully funded by the US Embassy in Moscow, includes immersion into American culture, meetings with representatives of professional communities, participation in volunteer and extra-curricular activities.

- How has your worldview changed over this period?

- I should never have thought that over five months I can change myself so strikingly, revise my view of life, my attitude to people and studying. By watching Americans, who seem to be light-minded and good-natured, I became more open to the world and people, learnt how to enjoy the little things, see the good in people, give compliments.

- Please tell us about your study.

- I study humanities, such as history, government, literature of the USA, cross-cultural communication; go for dancing, attend nutrition classes. As you can notice, all subjects are taken from different fields, and the reason is that in the USA students can elect courses for a semester. College provides them with a list of courses to be taken within a full period of study to get a degree. But there are no strict limitations on a period of studying. On average, it takes two years to complete. As I am here for one year only, I intend to study a variety of subjects. While living in America, I am eager to learn something new.

- What difficulties did you face?

- In the beginning, it was rather difficult to study, because we had to read a lot and write essays, and the most complicated for me was to be an active participant in discussions at classes. But step by step, you join this system, and get accustomed to study load; now it does not seem to be so bad or complicated.

What expenses are covered by the grant?

- TheYEAR program covers everything, even expenses for purchasing textbooks and tickets to cultural events. Besides, it provides a monthly scholarship.

- Did you manage to visit interesting places in the US?

- Absolutely. I try to use every opportunity to travel a lot. I live in the state of Utah, so I visited all national parks and many cities of the state. I traveled to Las Vegas several times, visited Washington, the capital of the United States, Los Angeles and San Diego in California, Miami. Now I can declare that I swam in two oceans: the Pacific and the Atlantic. Such travelling is inspiring.

Did you dispel any stereotypes about Americans and their culture?

- I like most Americans whom I met. They are friendly, kind, polite, have strong views and personal opinion about all issues. I love that family values are highly appreciated by Americans. Traditionally, all holidays are celebrated within the family circle, communicating and exchanging presents with family members. I dispelled one rather common strange stereotype that Americans are not intelligent. I do not support this opinion. All depends on your social circle. I met a lot of extremely talented and well-educated Americans, with whom you can talk endlessly.

- What would you like to tell NMSTU students?

- Learn foreign languages! This is not just a useful hobby, but this is a ticket to a new, exciting world full of interesting people and impressions!

I highly appreciate teachers of the Department of the English Language, who supported me at all stages of the competition. They indeed were my source of inspiration, when writing an essay. I am deeply grateful to them for everything!

Svetlana Artemova,
Information Policy Administration, NMSTU

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