Having spent two years living in Scotland before moving back to Russia, Polina is complementing her studies at a Russian gymnasium with AS-level English Literature, Geography and Biology at Algorithm A*. Polina aspires to combine her dream of traveling with her love for voicing her opinion through a career in international journalism.
What’s your favourite thing about this school?
We get a lot more attention. We only have A-level subjects 3 times a week. We don’t have that much time to mess around, as we only have three hours for each subject, so our teachers are really focused. Because we’re such a small class, there used to be 6 of us and now there’s only 3, we’re all very close. Throughout this year, we also became close with our teachers.
What are your favourite subjects?
English Literature. Although, I actually like all of them. For A-levels, you have to choose your favourite three or four subjects.
Polina’s experience of studying abroad revealed significant differences between the Russian and British education systems.
I went to boarding school, with the whole concept of a small community living together, everyone knowing each other, all your friends being with you in one house. I like that f you are bad at math, nobody will blame you for it.
Have you started thinking about your future, what you will do after you finish school?
I don’t know if I’m going to stay in Russia or go somewhere else. If I stay in Russia, I’ll go to RUDN [Российский университет дружбы народов] to do International Journalism. I don’t know if my family will be able to afford for me to go somewhere like Canada or the UK. I’d like to apply to St Andrews, because I studied near there and I’ve heard the university is very good.
What subject would you want to study at university?
International Journalism, Sustainability, or something like International Relations. Something where you’re fighting what you care for, and you can stand up for you opinion. So that you can be everywhere, see everything, analyse it for yourself. I’m expressive and better with people than with numbers. Those subjects combine traveling, interacting with people and expressing your thoughts.
What extracurricular activities are you interested in?
I won the ESL competition at my school. I’ve done work experience for a local newspaper where I lived in Scotland and I did community radio work experience for two weeks. I was also in the Combined Cadet Force for two years. I was the NCO [non-commissioned officer] commander in my second year. I’m really interested in voluntary work. And I really want to go and do voluntary work in Africa. We’ve spoken to our Geography teacher about summer voluntary work. In international journalism, you need to go to different countries and write about different problems.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I read self-help books; they don’t always help, but I try. Last year, when I lived in Scotland, I had a lot more spare time, so we would go to the mountains. Now that I have a double programme, I have much less time. I haven’t studied at a Russian school for two years, so I have to catch up and have lots of lessons with tutors. I didn’t speak Russian for two years, I didn’t even have any Russians in my school. In Scotland I also did hockey, lacrosse, singing and cello.
If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
Something like an editor for the National Geographic. International scale journalism.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
We’ll be finished with our universities. I’d like to have a job, flexible work, and apartments in different countries. Maybe I could have my own business, if it’s to do with something I care about.