11 December 2019

Nikolaos Gurdzhiev: “St. Petersburg reminds me of Tbilisi”

Иностранный студент кафедры архитектурного проектирования

Nikolaos Gurdzhiev

Nikolaos Gurdzhiev is a first-year student at the Department of Architectural Engineering at St. Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering. He came to study here from Tbilisi. Nikolaos chose the graduate school in Russia because he believed that there were many opportunities. We asked the graduate student to answer several questions.

- Why did you choose the profession of an architect?

- Since my childhood, I dreamed of becoming an architect: I assembled construction kits, drew, and spent a lot of time at the computer. Later it allowed mastering the programs necessary for design. Most of all I like to make something new, using some creative approach.

- Why did you decide to come to Russia?

- At first I studied as an architect in Tbilisi. Then I faced the choice where to study further. The education in Georgia is good, I can’t say that it is much different from the Russian one. I decided to go to St. Petersburg because there are more opportunities, a higher standard of living. When my parents found out about my decision, they supported me and were very happy.

- How did you know about our university?

- I heard a lot of positive reviews from the guys who came to us in Tbilisi for a workshop. They said that training is at a high level, that it was one of the best architectural universities in Russia.

- Do you like to study at SPbGASU?

- Absolutely! University teachers know and love their job; they know how to set tasks in the right way. Knowing the goals set promotes the effective completion of projects. My favorite discipline is “Architectural Design”; I learned a lot for myself when designing a residential complex in Kronstadt. As for the master's degree thesis, the topic has been identified but so far we are engaged in the design of the residential complex and gradually approaching the main stage.

- What professional events did you take part in?

- The most striking of them were the workshop in Estonia under the direction of Friedrich Kühlman on the study of the landscape of Tbilisi and the "City Symphony" competition, which was organized by the MARSH school in collaboration with students from the British Higher School of Design. In this contest, our team won first place for the best short film about Tbilisi.

- Did your expectations about Russia and Russians coincide with reality? What can you say about St. Petersburg?

- Initially, I did not have any stereotypes about this country and its inhabitants. Russians are wonderful people; before that I also talked with Russian students in Tbilisi. Our mentality, of course, is different, but somewhere you can draw a parallel, for example, everyone knows that Georgians are distinguished by their warm welcome and hospitality. St. Petersburg reminds me of Tbilisi in that; here, too, guests are always welcome, residents are polite and friendly. I also like the city for its architecture.

- What was the most difficult thing for you to get used to after moving?

- Definitely, to the weather. If in the summer our air temperature stays at 40 degrees Celsius, and in winter it drops down to 2-3 degrees, then the climate of Russia, of course, is quite different. It's very cold, but I'm already used to it.

 Do you miss your homeland? Tell us about it.

- Of course. Georgia is very multifaceted. Most of all I like that in Tbilisi you can meet people from around the world. Having come on vacation, many remain and acquire housing in our country. I think that everyone should come to Tbilisi, see the rich nature, the historical center of the city, enjoy national cuisine. This is really a sea of ​​positive emotions and impressions. Come!

- What are your plans after training?

- I have not decided whether to stay here or return home. I want to work in my specialty, find a company where I can create, develop, and after that I will arrange my life. In Tbilisi, I already tried myself as an assistant architect. The architectural bureau in which I worked had projects in California, other U.S. states, Europe, and Russia

Studying at SPbGASU gives you the opportunity to access large well-known companies.

- In Tbilisi, I still have a girl whom I plan to marry. I would like to walk her along the streets of St. Petersburg and see the whole beauty of the city with her. In my opinion, St. Petersburg is a very romantic city.

 What would you say to someone who is going to study at SPbGASU?

- I was not at all afraid to go to another country, and I wish this to other guys. Do not be anxious and worrying! There is a high level of education, good people, all ways are open. I like that SPbGASU provides good opportunities to go abroad to workshops, get new experiences.

Text: Anastasia Blinova

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