International Students

2018-03-26 00:00:03

Student from the French Alps Heading to Moscow via MRU

dsc0327 Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) exchange student Stanley Cochet from the French Alps town of Chambéry, hopes to study at Moscow's MGIMO University's Master's programme in the fall, if he is admitted.

After he completes his Bachelor's in June, he wants to pursue Master's Degree studies in "Governance and Global Affairs" in Moscow, but says he still needs to learn Russian. A Political Science major at the University of Lille 2, Cochet has a penchant for Eastern Europe with friends not only in Poland, Latvia, but also in Belarus, Moldova and Russia.

Cochet, an Erasmus+ exchange student, is one of about 25 exchange students from France studying at MRU this semester.

He not only loves to travel, but also to ski. He was only 3 years old, when he began skiing in the French Alps, not far from his home town of Chambéry, which is 50-kilometers north of Grenoble.

When he came to Lithuania, he thought he could also find some mountains here.  "I didn't know it was flat," he said and laughed. "I wanted to come here for the big space and the forests," he said.

He also loves the food in Lithuania with lots of pork and potatoes and especially enjoys potato pancakes, a Lithuanian specialty. "It's good," he adds.

"I have the chance to study and to travel," says the 22-year-old student, speaking of why he choose to come to Vilnius with Erasmus+ exchange. "It was a good experience to come here," he said.

So far Cochet has visited Poland, Italy-Rome and Neapoli, as well as Belarus and Russia. He plans to visit Serbia, Albania and Kosovo this summer.

Erasmus+ studies also helped to better his English language skills, although Cochet is already fluent. It is Russian he is most concerned about now.

Unable to find an inexpensive Russian language tutor (asking price for lessons in Vilnius was 35 Eur/academic hour), he is waiting to begin lessons in Russia, where he hopes the prices will be lower.

"I thought there would be many Russian language courses in Vilnius, but they are too expensive - just like in France" he said.

In France, at the University of Lille, many students and even Faculty members encouraged him to study in Lithuania. "They kept saying I should go"

However, many French people do not know much about the Baltics or Lithuania, he said. When I say that I am going to Vilnius, they say "where?"

In France, many people think that this is all "old Soviet-bloc with lots of people that never smile. It's not like that. Some people do smile," he said. And, being in Vilnius is not all that different than being in France. We are all Europeans, he said.

His interest in Eastern Europe is fuelled by many friends he has here and also a girlfriend in Poland.

He said he has been disappointed that he has not met many Lithuanian students in Vilnius. He said his MRU classes have mostly other Erasmus+ students from various countries.

In the future he hopes to land a job as a lobbyist in France the U.S. or Russia or work in International Communications. He said he prefers a job with lots of travel. His studies in Moscow are preparation for landing a job, maybe even working or interning at a Russian oil, gas or energy company.

He does miss the French Alps and his quaint, picturesque home town with great cheese, not available outside of France, and great wines.

But his desire to travel overcomes staying in France. He said that after working abroad, he may return one day to work in France, but that depends on his job.

For now, he is preparing for Easter holiday trips. Cochet has made plans to go to Poland and then to Bologna, Italy to visit a friend.