Student Profiles from former CIS countries

Alina Khagay
Alina Khagay

Alina Khagay, BSc Logistics, Kazakhstan

Read about my experience of Aston University by clicking on the tabs below.

In the UK the courses are much more focussed, it’s quite intensive and very professionally focussed. I’ve made some really good friends here, Aston has a multicultural environment which is really good.

The great thing about logistics is that it’s not just your normal office work, there is a lot of communication with your suppliers as well. My course covers everything from marketing to data analysis to maritime transport. We also cover international trade law for all transport modes from road to air.

If you are thinking of coming to study... It is going to be very different when you move to a new country, but don’t be afraid even if you make a mistake. Forget everything you ever knew and learn again!

Aziz Alzhanov
Aziz Alzhanov

The small campus makes it easier to find your way around. The campus is in the city centre everything is really close. There are great transport links in Birmingham and good entertainment facilities; I like to go to the cinemas. There is a real mix of students but there are no barriers and we communicate really well.

If I knew someone who wanted to come to the UK to study in my subject area, I’d  tell them to learn maths and the English language! That way the only difference will be the culture and the weather.

Dana Karagulova
Dana Karagulova

I came to Aston because it was a good university located in Birmingham city centre. It Is located in a wonderful campus and is highly positioned in the university rankings tables.The lecturers and support staff are really good and Aston has a great reputation. The campus is small and everything is conveniently located. The lecture’s are really interesting and staffs strong research abilities make them up-to-date.

Birmingham is a big city with lots of entertainment venues. There are lots of people in Birmingham from different cultural backgrounds which create a really diverse atmosphere. There are some really big shopping centres in Birmingham so you can get everything you need and it’s really quick to get to London.

My course is a three year course that has six modules each term. Every week we have a number of tutorials and there are normally six lectures. This means about ten hours of taught time a week. There are two exam periods, in January and in May through to June. My course has a 50%/50% split of coursework and exams.
Yelena Yakovleva
Yelena Yakovleva

The university is globally recognised which along with its intense and promising courses will give me great career prospects. I strongly believe my course will give me academic and professional recognition, while a diverse range of social activities, sports and events create an international experience to remember. I have been a part of the Aston university investment banking society and the ballroom dancing society along with trying other sports. I am really happy that I’m studying at Aston University. There is a lot of support and friendly staff around to help students with any query. 

Aston has a diverse and multi-cultural environment that is located in the city centre of Birmingham. Also I have travelled around Europe - to France, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, Italy and Czech Republic to explore traditions and cultures of different nations, unique point of living abroad. You can really explore the world!

The International Foundation Programme (IFP) in engineering is a very intensive course and gives a strong academic grounding in engineering whilst preparing you for university life. You get a good knowledge of how the university works to get the most of what you are studying. I could have gone anywhere after I completed the IFP but I really had a good experience here and was really impressed, I love this place!

I really liked the undergraduate course which contained a 50:50 split of Business and engineering modules.

Ksenia Goroshko
Ksenia Goroshko
Ksenia Goroshko, European Master of Photonic Networks Engineering

Read about my experience of Aston University by clicking on the tabs below.

Being an Erasmus Mundus student, among four different universities I chose to spend my first year at Aston University. The prime criteria to choose Aston was the set of taught modules, all of which are up to date with latest research and are precisely adjusted to my scientific interest.
Not to forget is the convenient central location of the University, compactness and unity of campus and a very special urban atmosphere of Birmingham.
Having studied at Aston for two terms now, my decision to come here has proved to be right.
I would like to say a few words especially about my study group, which is six people coming from 4 continents around the world. We’ve made really good friends and my study time at Aston is full of joy, smart jokes that keep us laughing till our cheekbones hurt, full of vivid stories about different cultures and the incredibly important feeling of playing in one team.
Birmingham is a former industrial centre of UK and is now the second largest city. This town is fascinating and magically, almost beasty, energetic with it’s classy buildings, stylish bars and red-brick canal embankments. There’s lot of leisure activities and a wide range of international cuisine to enjoy.
After finishing my studies, I plan to make an internship year and to apply for a job in one of the industry giants in my study area. Aston University’s Career Centre gives me great support getting contacts with companies, so I even hope to have a choice for my career start-place.
Kantemir Tatarov
Kantemir Tatarov

Before coming to study in the UK I worked as a sales manager for IT programmes for a Russian company called “Konsultant”, and over 3 years in Kabardino-Balkaria branch of Sberbank of Russia as IT security and consultant. I have won a scholarship offered by the Government of Kabardino-Balkaria, which enabled me to study in the UK.

Studying at Aston provides the knowledge to applying a certain methodology and systematic approach instead of going by intuition. I am sure that all the skills acquired here give me an advantage over other managers in Russia.
The education system is different here. My study experience at Aston is new and unique for me. I had some problem with arranging my time at first as there is less control from academics. You need to be well-organised and self-disciplined. During the lectures there is more use of technical equipment here – projectors, internet, etc.

I like the fact that groups are quite small and you can have close and friendly relationship with tutors. The lecturers are very approachable. There are 5 students in my group. They are all from different countries. We mix with students from other groups when we have the same modules as well. I get exposed to quite a diversity of nationalities, which improves my people skills and broadens my knowledge about different cultures. It’s interesting to communicate with people from different countries and backgrounds.

The main reason why I have chosen Aston University is because the programme offered by the school is interesting. I was looking for a course, which would combine IT and Managerial subjects. I had an idea of what I want to do and a vague vision of how to do it. Studying here I understood that I was right in some aspects and wrong in others. Read more by clicking on the tabs below.

As for the workload, if you can organise your time well, it is easy to study. What was new for me is that we have a lot of group projects; you don’t get this in Russia. We discuss the work with students from different backgrounds, we express our opinions. I have improved my communication and people skills and gained a valuable experience of team work. The knowledge I get through my studies is more applied and business and industry oriented. I am sure all these skills will help me in my future employment.

I also like the fact that I have access to free English language classes to help improve my academic writing skills.

There is a lot of entertainment on campus. I use sports facilities a lot, especially the swimming pool. The location is excellent! Birmingham is a student friendly city. The cost of living is cheaper here. I like the climate, it is surprisingly pleasant, not as wet as I expected at all. It is nice and warm. Birmingham is a big city; there are a lot of things to do. I have already been to concerts of Deep Purple and to Abba show.

As for my plans for the future, I signed a contract with the government of my republic, so I will go back to Russia and hopefully I will have an interesting job where I can apply all my new knowledge and skills that I got here. I want to contribute to the development of my republic.

If you are thinking of studying in the UK, I would advise you to assess how effectively you can manage your time. Self-discipline and English language skills are quite important as well. If you are a motivated person and know what you want then Aston is one of the places where you can get everything for successful studies. 
Nikita Gulin Education UK

Nikita Gulin, BSc Management and Strategy, Russia

"I wanted the flexibility of choosing the modules that I want to do. Operations, marketing, finance, everything.

We see how it works in real life it's as close to reality as it can get, as close to the working environment as it can get.

If you're open to new experiences then you can have as much fun as you want."

Footage produced by British Council.

Olga Ivanovskaya
Olga Ivanovskaya

Studying at Aston has given me excellent life experience which changes you and how you think about everything. It opens up options that might previously have been unavailable to you. Teaching methods are more developed here than in my home country. Many of the teaching examples come from Western situations for example, so studying at Aston has made me view things from a more Western prospective, which is good as I wish to work in Europe. I would say I have become a little more European in my outlook and a little less Russian

Birmingham is surrounded by some amazing centres like Warwick with its castle and Stratford-Upon-Avon and its historical links to Shakespeare.  It is so easy to get out into the countryside and visit these places.  It is also ideal for visiting London as there is a good train service and it takes only 90 minutes.  Within the city, I like the shopping and bars and restaurants and I have enjoyed many visits to the excellent Symphony Hall, theatres and the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
Ruslan Zaidan
Ruslan Zaidan

I chose to study at Aston because I wanted to improve my English and learn about British culture. I really like the fact that there are lots of different cultures here at Aston; I’ve met people from Europe, India and Saudi Arabia, and lots of UK home students.

I am currently on an international foundation year, in business and I have been attending extra business lectures and I am taking extra English language classes. I want to go onto complete a Bachelors Degree in Business Management and am looking forward to doing the placement year to gain work experience.
Sergey Novokhatskiy
Sergey Novokhatskiy

Sergey Novokhatskiy, MBA, Russia                                          

I graduated from the Krasnoyarsk University with a degree in Economics in 1998. After around six years of working as well some further study I decided I would like to pursue an MBA. I applied to business schools in the UK in order to give my business education more of an international perspective and although I was made an offer by another School I chose Aston as it provides an intensive one year MBA which does not require GMAT score from applicants with sufficient work experience.

I did some research about the MBA before commencing my studies. Along with theoretical knowledge the Aston MBA provides you with a number of case-studies, which are analysed in depth. The Aston MBA gives me the opportunity to play business games in international syndicate groups and to discover my strengths and weaknesses. Also living on campus gives me a deep cultural insight as it is a very multinational community! Those issues were of critical importance for me. And now with some time having been spent at the Aston I would say that I am very happy with my choice.

Vladimir Pashchenko
Vladimir Pashchenko

Vladimir Pashchenko, Engineering International Foundation Programme, Russia

Before coming to Aston l met a University representative at my agent’s office in St Petersburg. The agent helped me prepare my whole application. I met the University representative with my parents who were able to ask questions as they could not visit Aston which was really useful

I’m really enjoying studying at Aston. The programme is more interactive in comparison with the teaching style in my country. Blackboard makes it easy to contact lecturers, check my timetable and get the module information on-line.The lecture rooms are well equipped and comfortable.There is a car design competition at the end of each year for Engineering students and l am looking forward to it. I was really impressed by how modern and great the facilities are. I am also keen on sports and like the new football pitch and Victorian swimming pool.

After completing my Engineering International Foundation Programme l would like to continue studying Mechanical Engineering with a work placement option at Aston. I may then continue to work or study in Europe or America. Studying in the UK is worth doing as it gives you a lot more options.

Ekaterina Korneeva

Ekaterina Korneeva, BSc Business and Management, Russia

One of the main reasons l chose Aston is its city centre location. Birmingham is a great place to be. I love Chinese food, so l often go to the Chinese quarter. In summer me and my friends walk along the canals.  

There is a lot of support here at Aston for students. Tutors and lecturers are always happy to help. Other students are friendly and the discussion boards on blackboard are helpful too.  There is a friendly feeling around campus – the ‘Aston Community’.

Studying and working with people from around the world has been really interesting. I have made a lot of friends. You get to learn about different traditions and cultures. This then influences your views on life and work.

I have joined the Aston Trading & Investment Society which is a good way to meet people with similar interests. Studying in the UK is exciting but don’t forget to actually do some studying!
Aydan Khalafova
Aydan Khalafova

Aydan Khalafova, Law with Management, Azerbaijan

Read about my experience of Aston University by clicking on the tabs below.

What I like most about Aston is that it provides me with the opportunity to meet different people from all around the world. Another thing I like about Aston is the city centre location which is convenient and not too big. The city centre provides all the conveniences of the big city. I have also visited a couple of places since my arrival in Birmingham. I have been to Victoria Square Museum which was really nice, also Alton Towers where I had some scary rides.

Having now spent enough time at Aston and Birmingham, I can also say that there are significant differences between studying in my home country and UK. A major difference is the way the programmes are structured. In the UK there is more self-study time. Students are more responsible for their programmes; there is a lot more research involved in the structure of the programmes. By studying in the UK, l am also learning to be more independent.

I came to Birmingham during an exchange programme last year and I really liked Aston University. The main reason to choose Aston however is that it provides students with the opportunity to enrol onto a programme which best suits their interests. The choice of Law and Management degree gives me the opportunity to gain knowledge about a wide variety of subjects in two different areas.

In order to enhance my skills and experience, in my first year I have joined AISEC. I am also involved in the outgoing student exchange programme. I am interested in travelling and studying abroad and learning about different cultures which is what AISEC is involved in. At the beginning of my second year, I am planning to establish Aston Travelling Society.

I would advise potential students to be proactive, talk to universities’ representatives, use websites and get informed about the process of applying to universities abroad. I am giving this advice because when I decided to come to the UK, there were a lot of people who were negative about the possibility of realising this opportunity. That is why I advise students to act adequately and keep themselves well informed at all times.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research