Kazan Federal University

Kazan Federal UniversityKazan Federal University

Winner of the International Student of the Year in Tatarstan talks about his path to success

Guatemalan national Mac Quiroa Christopher Andre, student of nature management and water usage at KFU, snagged the coveted award this year.

It’s not the laureate’s first honor, however, – among his accolades are Best International Student of KFU in 2021, 3rd place in the Russian Language Olympiad for International Students in 2022, and many others.

Mac Quiroa is currently in his senior year and is working on a graduation project titled ‘Construction specifics of biological filters in various urban conditions – case of the Bulak Channel and lakes of the villages of Usady and Sredniy Kaban’.

Mac says he was confident while applying for the Student of the Year in Tatarstan in 2022, but his faith gradually faded when he saw how strong his competition was. In the final face-to-face of the International Student of the Year nomination, he contested the prize with Aslam Hannan, another KFU student.

According to him, the most steep challenge was presented by the master class stage of the final, “First came a self-presentation. It was not my first time speaking for the audience and talking about myself, so it wasn’t a problem. However, talking about my country was more of an obstacle. I really mulled over speaking about our culture, traditions, and holidays, of which there are like a hundred times more than in Russia. That’s why I only mentioned the most important ones, such as the Christmas Eve. This holiday is marked by processions – people sing Christmas carols and hold statues of Jesus. Our traditional Christmas beverage is ponche, a punch made of fruits and condiments. I did actually prepare such a Christmas punch for the jury, and they liked it. Other contestants also presented their national cuisines.”

After graduation, Mac hopes to stay in Russia and open a business.

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