Alena from Lomonosov Moscow State University in our interview about her exchange period at the University of Klagenfurt

Alena Perekulimova is a student of Economics at the Lomonosov Moscow State University in Russia. Through the Joint-Study programme, she spent the summer semester 2023 at the University of Klagenfurt, during which she took part in an exchange student ambassador initiative. In this interview, Alena is telling us more about her studies in Klagenfurt and why she would recommend AAU as an exchange destination for prospective incoming students.

Tell us something about yourself, where do you come from, what is your home university and what do you study there?

My name is Alena and I’m originally from Russia. I’m completing my studies at Lomonosov Moscow State University, where I’m majoring in Economics. I have a keen interest in how the world works, how people allocate their resources and satisfy wants, so my courses are close to my interests. During our studies we have not only maths or economics, but also a bunch of courses, aiming to grow us as well-rounded individuals. Despite the fact my favorite subject is accounting (which is boring for others), I also have different hobbies, like skiing and knitting and learning languages.

Why did you decide to spend an exchange period in Klagenfurt?

Well, I’ve been learning German for 4 years, and unfortunately, it’s hard to practice speaking in Russia, so I was choosing between German-speaking countries. Besides, my family and I travelled to Austria 4 times to ski, and I find the situation in this country stable and calm, that’s why I chose Austria as my destination. For my exchange period it was possible to go only to Klagenfurt in Austria, so all these were the reasons for my choice.

From an academic and personal perspective, in what ways did you benefit from taking part in a mobility programme at AAU?

I’ve always wanted not to be just a tourist in a foreign country, but also to live for some time there, to feel new traditions, language and life of other people. As I’m learning German and I’ve travelled a lot to Austria, my dreams were about it. That’s why my main benefits from the exchange program are language practice and dreams that come true. Moreover, my mobility program goal is to write reports for my home university to tell our professors about another system of education and its pros and cons, which we may include in our system. Besides, my exchange period will be a good addition to my CV, that will help me to find a better job and enter a foreign university.

Has your view of the world changed through your mobility period in Austria? If yes, how?

Well, I’ve always been a person with wide thoughts and open mind. I’ve travelled a lot with my family, so I had an idea of the world. However, I may tell you about things, that have pleasantly surprised me during my life in Austria. I was amazed by smiles and spontaneous “hi”s from unknown people on the streets.  I noticed that Austrians really like flowers and stuff for their houses. Besides, I enjoy that here you may take your pet everywhere. One more surprise was about many religious holidays, when people may have some rest.

Would you recommend spending a semester at AAU to other prospective incoming students? Can you tell us why?

Of course, I would recommend AAU for an exchange period. Honestly, I have already done it, and next semester my group mate from MSU is coming here. I like the number of student unions in University of Klagenfurt, they are ready to help you and to support you in any question. Also, you may find here a lot of friends from other countries, but with same interests/goals/principles. Besides, there’s a wide range of unusual and amazing courses in AAU, attending them is interesting and very useful. Furthermore, I would strongly recommend to other students to study in the lakeside or in the Building O, because atmosphere in these places is great, you may feel close to nature and community, but still have a quiet place for studying.


Word Rap:

My first day at the University of Klagenfurt in 3 words… fun, fussy, chatty

Being an incoming exchange student ambassador in 3 words… curious, productive, frankly

When in Klagenfurt you should not miss these 3 things… the lake, student parties, classes

The best 3 things about AAU are… unions, creativity, enthusiasm

My studies abroad in 3 words… keenness, efficiency, excursions