Follow your Dream and Never Give Up
It is interesting to keep an eye on the lives of the Russian universities’ international graduates. So many people, so many chosen paths. It is worth noting that many of our guests choose to go back to their home countries and see their vocation and destination in it. Such stories are full of worldviews and aspirations to make the world a better place.
The stage director of the Opera and Ballet Theater in Ulaanbaatar Mendbayar Bayardavaa can become such an encouraging example for each next generation of applicants.
About the Power of the Dream
I should say that I had been dreaming of studying in Russia since childhood, and my way was not short and easy. The story of my admission to a theater university began in 2011. Then I studied at the Mongolian Conservatory, and this was my first attempt. Unfortunately, I failed it. After graduation from the conservatory, I worked for more than four years as an actress at the opera and ballet theater before my long-cherished dream came back to my memory.
In 2014, I realized that I wanted to become a stage director. I began to study the information on admission and possible study options, but… unfortunately, I was late for the admission campaign. So, the second opportunity was missed.
A year later, I went back to studying Russian at the Russian Center of Science and Culture. Then, in between learning grammar and educational dialogues, I talked about my dream with my Russian language teacher. That’s when the time came for my third attempt. After I was actively engaged in mastering the language for a year, I went to Moscow to apply to GITIS.
There is a funny story about that trip to Moscow. The point is that my friend who was to meet me completely forgot about it. I found myself alone in a big city with heavy baggage. At the moment, I was completely at a loss, and, frankly speaking, I was very frightened. The surprising thing is that a complete stranger from Mongolia helped me that day.
I recall that period of time with huge gratitude and love. During the eleven days spent in the Russian capital, I got a bunch of impressions. This time, everything worked out for me. I successfully passed my exam and came back to comfortably prepare for the beginning of the academic year.
About GITIS and Russia
At the beginning of the academic year, I realized that it would not be easy. Despite all my efforts and preparation, it was difficult to study. In fact, our student day lasted from 9 a.m. till 11 p.m. I should also say that the Russian language remained the greatest challenge for me as a foreigner during all my university years. The Russian language, which is beautiful but incredibly difficult, tested my patience every day. I am extremely grateful to my fellow students for their patience, support and help in mastering the language. I am not sure I would have been able to cope with it without them.
Despite all the difficulties, I had a very happy time studying at GITIS.
I was eager to master my profession, and I was in the best place for this. Just so you understand, there is only one opera house and one drama theater in Mongolia. In this respect, huge theatrical Moscow was a source of eternal inspiration for a Mongolian student.
I have a wonderful memory from this period of my life. When I was a first-year student, my fellow students presented me with the return tickets to Mongolia. This was a New Year surprise. That moment was truly enchanting because that New Year‘s Eve was the last one spent with my father. I have been carrying this warm memory of my great fellow Isaakyan students* through all my life.
*Isaakyan students –the Georgiy Isaakyan workshop students
Tips for Applicants
For everybody planning to study in Russia, I have the following tips:
- Study Russian. Knowledge of language is your advantage and assistant.
- Study the things you really want to study. A genuine desire to master a profession is a great motivator in difficult times.
- Choose carefully profession/city/university.
- Do not give up even if nothing works out. It will pass.
- Read. Books will help you fill the gaps in your knowledge.
About Career and Destination
In my first year at GITIS, I wanted to stay in Moscow and continue my career in Russia. It was not until much later that I realized that I should come back to Mongolia and develop dramatic art here. That’s exactly what happened.
I came back to the Opera and Ballet Theater in Ulaanbaatar in a new position. Now I am a theater director. I am grateful to the theater administration for the opportunity to implement interesting cultural projects and to the Russian House (RCSC) for their support and strong creative connection. We already have something to be proud of, and much remains to be done.