KAZAN: Alyona is studying economics and writing her diploma work on special tax regimes. She hopes to work in business upon completion of her studies. At the same time, she is getting a degree as a math teacher. I asked her why dhe needed that. "I do it for myself. I get a lot of satisfaction out of it."
MOSCOW: Rinat, a 3rd year math student, was standing outside a metro station offering his services as a math tutor and handing out his contact details. The 19-year old grew up in Orenburg near Kazakhstan and to Moscow to study math, following in his father's footsteps. The economic slowdown has hit most Russians with some parents unable to send as much money to their children studying in Moscow as before. Rinat said he prefers to tutor math than wait tables and already has two students in high school. He said he tried advertising, but he received no calls, so thought it would be cheaper and more effective to stand outside a popular metro station. IT was his second time standing outside a metro station. Three people had taken his contact details on this day. Rinat said he would like to stay in Moscow upon finishing his studies.
TBILISI, GEORGIA: Teo, 19, and Mako, math students, were hanging out in the center of Tbilisi on an early May evening. I meet lots of law, finance, marketing & programming students in the ex-USSR, but very few math students. For Mako at least, it is probably in her genes to pursue this science: both her father & grandfather were math teachers. She intends to follow in their footsteps and teach as well. Teo said she would likely become a teacher as well.