University in Russia by Ased Chipangano – KF Class of 2018

Ased is studying Economics under a full scholarship at Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. The 5-year program began in August 2019. The first year of the program is a Russian language intensive. 

Happy New Year. I could not think of a better way to start this article than showing gratitude to KF, for the emotional support, financial and academic advice through each step of the way.

Russia is a good fit for me. Upon getting to Russia, I felt alone for the first time. At every juncture of success since I joined KF I was never alone. Looking back to achievements like Yale Young African Scholars and Yale Young Global Scholars I always had a close friend or two.

However, the interpersonal skills that we are taught in KF go a long way. In a very short period of time I started getting used to being with fellow students here.

I experienced tremendous cultural shock upon arrival. Firstly, Russia is very cold. Even arriving at the airport in Moscow made my warm clothing look like summer clothes. Russian people walk extremely fast and respect their time. University here and at home is very different. Lecturers want to see you in class, they want to see you speak and engage in class activities to the extent of you have poor class attendance they deduct marks from your exam results. Russian people have a very good reading culture. During journeys in buses and trains, people are always reading. However, they consider material gifts like shoes or clothes as a very rude gesture. To some extent, the Russian language culture is similar to that of Zambia. In the same way one would put “Ba” before addressing an elderly person, the Russian language conjugates verbs and pronouns the same way. Russia has a very international population of students and even workers, half the people I have met in banks and eateries are not Russian.

I am very engaged in activities outside of academics in school. Firstly, I continued with basketball except here people think I am exceptionally good. I also play volleyball and since Russians like table tennis, I play a lot of it as well. My very good English speaking is being recognized too, I am currently teaching my Russian Tutor English. I hope she makes it official. There is a very good Zambian community in Moscow, and I am part of the executive of the Zambian community at my school which has 30 students from Zambia. On a larger scale during the elections for city president among Zambians, I was part of the organizers of the election.

I am currently learning how to trade forex with a friend and I have intentions of putting a price tag on my music.

Generally everything is okay, my academics are top notch I’m doing my the best to push my self to the limit.

Happy New Year once more.