Shelby Allinder, USA
When I came, I knew only four Russian words; now I can talk to people in Russian
I came here on a scholarship from my home university. I haven’t studied abroad before and I am very happy to have had this experience.
When I came here I knew only four Russian words; now I know quite a lot. The Russian language course I took during Summer University was fast, intensive, and extremely productive. I am not nearly as fearful as I was – I can talk to people in the street now, and I am very glad for the experience. Living in the country, you are learning the language of is a lot better than just learning it at university.
Previously I studied German and I only started learning Russian here despite the fact that I studied Russian politics and history. I know it sounds odd that I study Russia but don’t speak the language – so coming here was meant to fill that gap.
I also took an EU-Russia Relations course, Russia and Non-traditional Security Challenges, and Russia-US Relations. I was surprised to learn how important visa policy is and how significant this issue is. I used to think that the biggest issues are anti-ballistic missiles.
I think in America when we think of Russia we don’t ever see the city or the country. But when you come here, you see the architecture, you talk to people and you learn to disassociate politics from culture and people. I visited many interesting places in Moscow. I was very much impressed with the city.