Free Apple Application
On November 14, 2014, Apple released a new application for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad called “MSU Go!” The app is available in the App Store and on iTunes. The app also has a page on VKontakte (ВКонтакте), the Russian version of Facebook. Dmitry Kuzhanov, a former MSU student and friend of past SRAS students, created MSU GO! in order to help Moscow State University students and visitors navigate the campus. It is free to download, and has thus far been given high user ratings on the Apple website.
MSU GO! is very user friendly. The home screen lists several different categories, including Leisure (Досуг), Food (Еда), Services (Службы), Sports (Спорт) and Educational Departments (Факультеты). If you click on one heading, the screen turns into a list of subtopics under each heading. For instance, if you click on Leisure, the app provides a list of types of events or gatherings that could fall under that category, such as Clubs (Клубы), Studios (Студии) and Events (Мероприятия). If you click on one entry you will be provided the general information about the establishment, contact information as well as the official establishment website where one exists. Under Food you will find a list of the different Cafeterias (Столовые) and Cafes (Кафе) on the campus, along with general information and the hours of operation of each. Under Services you will find Police (Полиция), Elevator Service Shop (Лифтерная), and the Pass Bureau (Бюро пропусков). The fourth section, Sports, includes Sections (Секции), Gyms (Залы), and Clubs (Клубы). Clicking on one will tell its activity schedule. Information on the last section, Educational Departments, is soon to come.
MSU GO! also allows you to view campus Maps (Карты), which have blue markers that indicate locations of interest. It also contains an “Info” page, which tells general information about the app and explains that you can send an email to the app developer at email@example.com if you would like to edit or add anything to the app.
Unfortunately MSU GO! only comes in the Russian language at the moment. Dmitry Kuzhanov does wish to create an English version as soon as possible, however. This only makes the most sense, since the MSU students and visitors who would likely have more trouble navigating the MSU campus and asking for directions are those who either speak Russian poorly or speak no Russian at all. Mr. Kuzhanov also plans to release a version for Android in the coming months.
I believe MSU GO! has the potential to become very popular amongst those new to MSU. While MSU has its own website where you can find information about various university centers and clubs, this app is definitely more user friendly for those who are outside and on the go. It is certainly a goldmine for foreign exchange students. As a foreigner, it is rather difficult to find any information about such things as clubs or sports groups unless you befriend a student who is either a member or knows a member of one or the other. This app allows you to eliminate such dependency on social connections with Russians, which, for a newly arrived foreigner who speaks little to no Russian, can be almost impossible to form. Furthermore, during the possible, initial period of language and social difficulty, MSU GO! is the perfect tool to get you out of your room and connecting with people on a level which allows alternative types of communication such as physical communication used while playing soccer.
Attention future SRAS Students: Mr. Kuzhanov would like assistance creating the English version of the app. For more information, please contact him by email at either the email address listed on the application, his personal email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on VKontakte at the name “Dmitry Kuzhakov”.