Ujjawal Roy left his hometown in Mumbai and came to St. Petersburg almost five years ago. Explaining the reasons behind that decision, he says that foreign education in India is quite valued . At the same time, skills in the Russian language are quite useful and can help build a career in the oil & gas industry in virtually every country in the world.
As Ujjawal recalls, “I always wanted to become an engineer, ever since I was studying in a third or fourth grade. I was a small child, but I was already reading about scientific experiments in encyclopedias. Later on, I used to take part in school competitions, where I presented my experiments.”
After graduating, Ujjawal decided his future would be connected with engineering. What he did not know was what university he should apply to, and at that time, the young boy from India had no idea he would end up studying in a Russian university.
“Over the last years, technical universities have become very popular in my country. Taking into account that India is also very densely populated, the competition here is enormous. First, people compete for state-funded places at universities, and then for better jobs. For example, each year, some 10 million people may apply to the Indian Institute of Technology, but there are only about 11 thousand free study places. Therefore, in India, we put great emphasis on education: those who have better education, they have better chances to receive a higher rank in society. Of course, if someone has a degree, especially if it is a degree obtained from a foreign university, then their chances for a well-paid job are a lot higher than those of their competitors. So when I graduated from school, I took my chances on several local universities, but my parents suggested I should also explore international study opportunities. One of their friends had graduated from Saint-Petersburg Mining University; he was heavily impressed with the quality of education here, and he was the one who highly recommended me this university.”
Ujjawal realizedIndi he was particularly interested in well-drilling back when he was studying at the pre-study course. This course is compulsory for all international students coming to Russia, and it is aimed at teaching them the Russian language, among other disciplines.
“I like this area of study because different subjects intertwine here – geology, metallurgy, mining, chemistry. Moreover, this work requires a person to be one hundred percent involved in the process. One has to keep thinking about how to increase extraction efficiency. I know some people might laugh, but I feel the same excitement I felt when I was a child and conducted school experiments; though, it is all on a completely new level now. Talking about career prospects, I do not care where I am going to work in the future, and whether it be my homeland, Canada, Australia, Norway or Russia. Anyway, knowledge of Russian is an asset and great advantage for mining specialists, since Russia is one of the leaders in the oil & gas market. World’s leading commodity companies collaborate with Russian partners – of course, an engineer who knows Russian will have an advantage over the others.”
There is one thing the Indian student is sure of – a degree from the Mining University will prove itself useful, regardless of his future residence.
As for differences in educational systems, Ujjawal says India lacks specialized educational institutions. Technical universities in the country are aimed at training specialists to work in the wide range of fields. In contrast, students of the Mining University are free to choose what specialty is of more interest to them.
There are other differences as well: for example, study groups are at least several times bigger in India compared to Russia. Consecutively, Indian teachers cannot pay as much attention to each student as compared to Russian ones.