Elena Popova

My name is Elena Popova and I am from gorgeous Russia. I learned about VIU through a search engine. VIU is a good way to study in the US as it provided an affordable tuition. So, I completed half of my bachelor's degree in Ekaterinburg, Russia and transferred to VIU. After that, I completed my MBA at Strayer University, here is the USA. However, I realized that I wanted to make a career shift, so I decided to work towards a degree in public and international affairs.

I have been interested in international relations since I was 8 years old when my parents put me in a special school to study English. It was very interesting for me, in addition to studying English, I was learning about different cultures and countries every week. When I was 16, I went on a trip to Italy. I felt absolutely comfortable and enchanted by different cultures, I knew I wanted to study international relations. To attend Moscow State University of International Relations was my dream but it was unrealistic. The cost of the study, the cost of living in Moscow is very high as Moscow is one of the top five most expensive cities in the world. I looked closer to my home in Siberia and I found the Institute of International Relations in the 4th biggest city in Russia.  When I transferred to VIU for my Bachelor degree, I chose the closest degree to international relations which was international business. In 2010, I graduated my bachelor degree in international business from VIU and in 2014 I graduated with my master’s degree in international relations from Strayer University. I was very excited to find out later that VIU opened the international relations major, actually focusing on diplomacy and politics. I decided to give it a try, and it was beyond my expectations. The program is absolutely useful and full of interesting information with great professors, more importantly, it is exactly what I was looking for.

The admissions procedure for VIU made my enrollment process go smoothly and quick; the admissions office guided me through everything. To get my dream master’s degree in international relations, I decided to apply, for the first time, for a scholarship at VIU. I carefully read the instructions and eligibilities and started the process. I was so surprised when VIU invited me for an interview. I was even more surprised when I received the letter from the scholarship committee saying “Congratulations, you have received a regional scholarship.” I was really happy; this was a big accomplishment for me. I believe work opportunities and special projects are waiting for me in the future.

During my study in VIU, I am planning to get an internship at the Russian (or any other) Embassy in the United States, to look into the core of diplomacy and get the experience of building relationships between the countries through the negotiation and dialogue. Improving relationships between Russia and the United States will be a top priority for me. My VIU degree in International Relations and gathering experience from related organizations will help me to reach my goal.

I am very pleased with my life-changing decision to attend VIU. All the professors are very professional and come from all around the world, which really makes this university international. They are tough and demanding. I am very much looking forward to applying my knowledge after graduation for an international organization with a focus on Eastern Europe.

Elena Popova
MS in International Affairs, International Economic Development

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