The level of economic, political and social development within a country highly depends on its educational system. Every state needs great professionals in an array of spheres, let it be science, politics, industry or agriculture. And only a firm and thoroughly elaborated system of education can give us these qualified workers. Thus, despite all the skills and talents people may have, they can’t dispense with the state’s education that becomes the main source of information, helping everyone learn step by step.
Let us speak on our system of education. How do the things work here, in Belarus?
Unintentionally we start with one of the educational system advantages. The education in Belarus is free at all levels. But which are those levels?
The national system of education in Belarus includes:
1) Preschool education. Here we mean nurseries and kindergartens, where babies and toddlers can feel free to play and make friends.
2) General secondary education. These are schools and gymnasia for pupils aged 6-18. As a rule, general secondary education consists of 11-12 grades (we used to experience these innovative changes) and it’s divided into 3 parts: grades 1-5, where pupils have only one teacher, grades 5-9, after which you have a possibility to leave for specialized secondary education, and grades 10-11, finishing which pupils get their high school diplomas and enter a university, start working or serve in the military.
3) Nonschool forms of education. Any pupil along with his studies in school can practice music, dances or sports in different centers.
4) Specialized education. As it was mentioned above, having finished 9 grades, a pupil has a chance to continue studying in some specialized technical colleagues. Many people here choose this type of studies as it doesn’t take a long time as the universities do.
5) Higher education. Telling the truth, it’s a particular topic of conversation. And you’ll know the very details later. But before that, it’s worth mentioning that there are also other forms of education. Among them are:
6) research and academic personnel education;
7) advanced training;
Following the idea about free education, it must be said that of course there are some private kindergartens, schools and universities in Belarus that are not free of charge. As for pre-higher education, it’s not so indispensible to pay money for education of your children, only in case you want to provide them with all the necessary comfort, like a swimming pool to maintain their health or some special food or entertainment. But in the higher educational system the things are a little bit complicated…
Accomplishing a promise, we are to take a train to an interesting country named Higher education.
Since the disintegration of the USSR higher education in Belarus is in constant growth. Today Belarus counts 55 higher education institutions (45 state-owned and 10 private). Let us concentrate on where you can get a higher education degree.
In Belarus higher education establishments can be of four types:
1) academy, conservatory which are specialized universities;
2) classical university;
4) higher college.
(The full list of universities see at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_universities_in_Belarus)
What really upsets at the Belarusian universities is that you can’t choose the subjects you’d like to concentrate on more like in the USA, but of course there are some advantages studying here, especially for foreigners.
We are to pay a greater attention to the higher education establishments in Minsk.
In the national education system of Belarus two higher education establishments are considered to be the leading ones. They are the Belarusian State University (BSU) and the Academy of Public Administration under the aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus (both are situated in Minsk).
The BSU offers 56 specialities to its students. Here you can study journalism, literature, nuclear physics, logistics, management of innovations, contemporary foreign languages and many other disciplines.
Today BSU is a leader in Belarus in teaching foreign students. It provides training to more than 1800 international students from more than 30 countries of the world.
As for the Academy, it’s a leading centre of science in the country in the field of the government. The Academy pays close attention to the research work of students and young scientists. There is a Student Scientific Association and a Council of Young Scientists there.
Future doctors get vast knowledge at the Belarusian State Medical University. Here you can be a member of the Faculty of General or Military Medicine, the Pediatric Faculty, the Pharmaceutical Faculty, the Faculty of Preventive Medicine, the Dental Faculty or the Medical Faculty for Foreign Students. But if you’re determined to study here, you should be prepared for 6 years of intensive studies.
Creative people enter the Belarusian State Academy of Arts where they study theatrical art, design, easel painting, monumental and decorative painting, graphics and printmaking and sculpture.
And if you have nothing in common with art, your choice may be the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics where you’ll find a unique opportunity to study computer systems, information technologies, radioengineering, electronics and economics.
Minsk State Linguistic University is a wonderful place for foreign languages lovers. Here you can study a variety of languages (English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Turkish, Arab, Polish, Farsi, Hebrew, Hungarian, Swedish, Chinese, Japanese) and other disciplines. Having finished the studies you can work as a translator/interpreter, a teacher/professor, a specialist in public relations, IT, tourism, politics or economics.
The research shows that every year Belarus receives an array of foreign students. In 2012/2013 among 14 000 foreigners from 88 different countries came to Belarus to study. Every year we can observe representatives of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, China, Venezuela and many other countries at the Belarusian universities.
Students from Turkmenistan have always been numerous in Belarus. They form more than a half of all the foreign students in our country. Why so? Let’s interview one of the Turkmen to find out the truth.
Yekaterina Slivina is a fifth-year student of Minsk State Linguistic University (MSLU). She studies at the faculty of intercultural communication. Her majors are English, Turkish and tourism.
So, Yekaterina, why did you decide to leave your country and continue studying here, in Minsk?
– After finishing my colleague I started working, and two years later we made a decision with my brother Viktor to get a higher education degree in Belarus. We have relatives in Russia, in Astrakhan, to be exact, but we chose Belarus, because this country is really quite and safe, in comparison with other states of the CIS. Moreover, the fact that the Belarusian education is kind of a serious one helped us to make up our minds.
Ok, and why MSLU? Did you think of other universities, in other cities?
– Frankly speaking I was in two minds about choosing the right university for me. I was mulling over the possibility of studying at the Belarusian State Economic University as it like MSLU has a faculty of intercultural communications. But I had to pass a math exam there, and I didn’t like that idea at all. So, I am a MSLU student.
And why foreign languages?
– I have always been thirsty for studying languages. Moreover, the English language was my major at school. It is a great pity I have no possibility to study Romanian here, it’s my dream to have a good command of this language.
Dreams should come true…
– Yes, I hope I’ll study Romanian in future when I have time.
What do you like and dislike about studying at MSLU?
– As for my dislikes, some professors here behave in a strange way. But thanks to the faculty of intercultural communications I became more sociable and open.
Where are you planning to work after university?
– For sure, in tourism. It’s my specialization.
And what about a job of a translator? You are so nuts about languages.
– Yeah, but to work as a translator is really tough and challenging. I’d like to save my efforts. Furthermore, I am an active person; I can’t stand being immobile all the time, so the position of a travel agent or a guide would suit me best.
Do you want to work in your motherland or here, in Belarus?
– I prefer working in Turkmenistan, because in Belarus for sure I’ll have problems with visa and registration. Moreover, I’ll get a much higher salary in my native town of Ashgabad.
Did you experience any problems moving to Belarus?
– Actually, yes. It’s was not so easy to accustom to the Belarusian climate and people’s mindset. I was brought up in Turkmenistan, and family values are more respected there, from where I stand. But I got great experience here. I became more independent and now I am able to overcome any obstacles.
Do you regret coming to Belarus for studies?
– No, I don’t.
We’ll always meet advantages and disadvantages studying at one or another university. And our thoughts about that are highly subjective, as in Yekaterina’s case. So, the main thing is to make the right choice personally for you, because your future career depends much on the education you had.
And to study or not to study in Belarus it’s up to you to decide.
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