We asked a few people to tell us what they think about our city and us. Doctor Shubra Pande and Doctor Rajeev Ranjan are associate professors from India who are doing their postdoctoral research here, Jeovauny Lindo Corey, Odane Banton and Sheldon Harris are Jamaican engineering students.
Why did you choose SibFU?
Dr. S. Pande The thing that prompted me was the dedication and the insight of this university towards international learning and the excellent scientific facilities which are available. I came to know about the university through the website and decided to apply. I looked at the infrastructure, I looked at the comments given by people and they were all very encouraging, so I decided to give it a try. My application was accepted and in May 2016 I finally came to Krasnoyarsk.
Dr. R. Ranjan While I did my doctoral research work I applied to Russian Foundation for basic research for a grant and it got accepted. After winning that grant, I came to Krasnoyarsk in December.
J. L. Corey I wanted an international education, I saw that there was an opportunity to study at SibFU so I went for it.
O. Banton I chose SibFU because I heard and read that it is a very high standard school that is also well renowed for its achievements. And also this school was offered as a part of the scholarship from UC Rusal.
S. Harris While in the final year of school in Jamaica, my father told me about this opportunity and since it was hard to get into university in Jamaica I just took this opportunity with both arms.
What is the difference between your university back home and ours?
Dr. R. Ranjan Comparatively, with respect to infrastructure, SibFU is equipped with modern architectures, diverse study courses, a large number of residence halls. Moreover, the university promotes lots of extracurricular activities (sports, fine arts, events, etc.). In short, SibFU is quite happening and has enthusiastic surroundings.
O. Banton The teachers at SibFU are better qualified and have more experience in terms of information necessary for the given subject. At SibFU there are a lot more resources that can be used by the students and a wider variety of information that can be found.
What are the three most striking things about your living in Siberia you would like to share with your relatives?
Dr. S. Pande The first most striking thing for me is that I’m living at the temperatures below zero because I come from a very hot country and we have temperature like forty degrees, and the lowest in India is four degrees and that becomes a national headline.
The next most striking thing about Siberia is its beauty. It is unimaginably beautiful, especially Krasnoyarsk. Chekhov said that Krasnoyarsk was the most beautiful city in Siberia and only after coming to Krasnoyarsk, I realized how true it is. It really is very beautiful.
And the third most striking thing is the warm attitude of the people. So, Siberia is a cold country, but the people are very warm and extremely compassionate and I don’t feel I’m away from my people. Customs and habits are very similar, especially the way women are treated and especially when the guest comes, how warmly people take care, that is also very Indian.
Dr. R. Ranjan The first thing is that people are very nice here, friendly and supportive. Also, the best thing is the weather over here. Of course, in summer it was very nice, even in the winter since it very different from our country. I liked the snowfalls and sometimes I went skiing, so it was something very nice. And of course, the nature’s beauty and summers are astonishing, amazing. I also went to Stolby and it is just very beautiful.
I did not find anything weird. Oh, one time a lady came up and I did not know what she was saying, she could not explain herself properly. So, I thought, “Oh, what’s happening? I did not do anything wrong”. I take it that she wanted to take a photo but I couldn’t understand. That incident was a little weird that I couldn’t understand. I was thinking, why she just came up like that.
J. L. Corey The weather, the food and lifestyle of Russian people.
O. Banton The weather – to experience the snow and the depth of the cold and hot temperatures here. Skating – whether it is snowboarding, ice skating or skiing, it is fun to learn and I would like them (relatives) to experience it. Language – the language is overall fun to learn though it is quite hard. When understood it is much easier to use than English because of the free construction and I know they would love it.
S. Harris I would like to share that Siberia is very cold, the weather is abnormal and the people here are very friendly.
Have you cooked any Russian food yet? How did you find it?
Dr. S. Pande I have not cooked any Russian food yet but I have eaten with my Russian friends. They cooked for us yabloko blini, which was very tasty. I have also tried that cold soup, okroshka, with kvas, I also found that interesting. And the most tasty is shashlik, especially kuritsa, that was very tasty.
Dr. R. Ranjan I tried borsch without meat and at my friend’s and also we had okroshka, he added some kvas into it. It was also a different experience and, of course, blini. Russian blini is similar in some way to an Indian variant, chapati, so I could correlate with that. Also some potato, they shallow fry it. And, of course, I liked some sweets, biscuits with cream.
J. L. Corey I have only been offered food and purchased.
O. Banton I have cooked borsht, pelmeni, pirozhki, plov and more which I do not remember, but it was very interesting and very tasty.
S. Harris I have not cooked but I have tried schi and kvas and I liked them.
What would you wish SibFU for the future?
Dr. R. Ranjan I wish, active participation of different research groups at the university to come together, discuss, help each other in terms of basic know-how, facilities and create a bigger milestone to fulfill the dream of the project 5-100; which is focused to bring 5 universities of the Russian Federation into top 100 global ranking of Universities. Create a hub for research innovations to bring the university financially self-sustainable and mark its global presence through attracting a huge number of students round the globe.
O. Banton I wish SibFU success and luck for the future. And I wish that all the goals that they want to achieve are accomplished.
S. Harris I wish the school success and to cater more for foreign students in the future.