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Tomsk Impressions of Alex Bousi, a Czech Student
I am Alex Bousi. I am 30 years old. I am a student of the Chemical Engineering Institute, Prague, where I study metallurgic engineering. In February 2006, I came to Tomsk Polytechnic University under the academic exchange program. I always dreamed of visiting Russia. Back in the times when they were building socialism in the Czech Republic, I studied Russian, but the language has been steadily slipping out of my memory. That is why I chose to go to Russia.
Why did I Pick Tomsk Polytechnic University?
In addition to studies, I have a business in Prague. I know that the Czech companies do business mostly with the companies located in European part of Russia. I decided to 'expand the horizons' of my company and find business partners in Siberia. Tomsk Polytechnic University and my University are partners. I chose to become the first student of the Chemical Engineering Institute to go to Russia - to study at Tomsk Polytechnic University. I am also fond of traveling and have always dreamed of taking a trip to the lake Baikal and to the Altai (I have heard of these marvelous places of Russia before). Tomsk happens to be located close to the areas of my dreams. Ilya Grudinin, a Czech friend of mine and a student of Prague Polytechnic University, had been to Tomsk, Russia, and told me a lot about Tomsk Polytechnic University. All this couldn't help influencing my choice.
I managed to do more in Tomsk than I could ever hope.
At the TPU I studied organic and physical chemistry at the Chemical Engineering Department under the individual curriculum drafted for me by the Chair of Organic Chemistry and Organic Synthesis Engineering. It took me a single semester to master the program of 3 semesters and the laboratory routine on the Department's basis. I had an excellent chemistry instructor, Lyudmila Nikolayevna Larina, and I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart. It was really interesting to work with her. Thanks to the individual work with the instructor, I had an opportunity to study the subjects of interest in greater details, which is usually impossible under regular curriculum, considering its tight time frames.
My specialty is related to metallurgic engineering and geology. On the website of the TPU Institute for International Education I found out about an opportunity to have geological practice in the Republic of Khakassia. I found this piece of news tremendously enticing and this is how I turned to be the first foreign student at the TPU to have gone to such practice. Khakassia turned out to have unique deposits of molybdenum, lead, copper, coal, oil, etc. In my country one simply does not have an opportunity like this to visit similar deposits. I was listed as an engineering geologist in the group of Prof. Sergey Ivanovich Arbuzov, who is not only a great instructor but and interesting person and companion as well. This is where I have met a lot of Russian students, camping out together with them. This helped me to understand them better and make friends with some of them. And it was a great opportunity to practice my Russian in professional environment.
Has Anything Interesting Happened to me in Tomsk?
It came to me as a big surprise that I will have a chance to practice music at the TPU. I played the grand piano at the TPU International Culture Center almost every day. I also play some mean guitar, which I haven't brought to Russia anyway. Here they gave me my favorite instrument and I enjoyed tremendously participating student's concerts and other gigs.
I was lucky! During my tenure at the TPU, here they held the All-Russia Festival of Foreign Students. I actively participated in the festivities:
Apart from the Festival:
• Played the presenter at the festival opening ceremony. It was a big concert at the Palace of Entertainment and Sports holding approximately 10,000 spectators.
• Also played the presenter at the closing ceremony.
• Participated in the contest of scientific and creative works, presenting my own website (http://www.bomat.cz) and my art song titled "Rettrotekkno".
• I participated in the "Singing Polytech" Contest presenting a famous Czech song "Rozeznavam", accompanying to myself on the grand piano.
• Presented my art song "I'm Leaving" at the concert held at the State University of Tomsk.
• Participated in the "Guitar Around the Clock" contest, where I wound up second in the Art Song category.
My friend Lubos (a Czech student of Prague Polytechnic University) and I made a trip to the lake Baikal for a week. We also visited the Altai, riding horses through the whole highland area. This is where the impressions were most striking. The Altai mountains is the best thing I have ever seen so far.
I stayed at the dormitory for foreign students at Arkadiya Ivanova Street. The amenities were surprisingly good, even better than at some dormitories of the Czech Republic or Germany where I used to stay.
I enjoyed the sports tremendously: gymnastics, running, swimming and cycling. Winter sports were particularly memorable. There is a skating rink not far from the university campus where I used to skate regularly. I also skied a lot.
Personnel of the Institute for International Education helped me to handle all problems I encountered. I also found a lot of new friends among these people. I would extend my biggest thanks to Valeriy Ivanovich and Tamara Gennadievna who worked with me the hardest. I even got a notebook on a temporary basis to solve my personal tasks. I am very content to have come here and found much more than I could ever hope for. Wish you were here!
For more details concerning my stay at the TPU, do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Institute for International Education: www.iie.tpu.ru
TPU foreign students' website: www.iie.tpu.ru/student/homeTPU/homeTPU.html
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