Here’s a little article I wrote for EBC Consultancy’s blog, in case anyone is thinking of studying in Russia! 🙂
Before I started my lessons at St Petersburg State University (SPSU) I pictured strict teachers and rote learning – I think this was the impression a previous student gave me. Perhaps I see things in a different way, or have been lucky with my teachers, but my I can confidently say my experience has been fantastic and I would hugely recommend it.
For me, my term in Russia was definitely intended to be an adventure, but first and foremost my priority was the language. Of course, being immersed in Russian life has been great for getting the words whirling round my head, while my classes have been the perfect guide rope along the way.
I am in university every morning 9 until 12, with one teacher for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and a different one Thursday and Friday. While each teacher has a distinct personality and slightly different style of holding the classroom, I find them equally effective. The most important thing is they’re both easy-going, kind and very approachable.
While I have different teachers, my classmates stay consistent. I think we’re about 13 with everyone there interested in learning, as well as being kind and funny. In our classes, we move through topics at a manageable pace and very thoroughly, which is perfect; we can really get to the bottom of things. We go through lots of exercises, but also break things up with presentations, songs and cartoons. I really appreciate the non-judgemental and often humorous atmosphere. We definitely want to get the job done but we have a laugh doing it.
Additional to my lessons, I have joined language exchange groups and made use of tandem partners, all of which can be found through Facebook. I have also joined the SPSU choir, which you can find on Google.
All in all, I would highly recommend studying at SPSU. I really love my morning routine here, it helps a lot with my learning (night owls could switch to afternoon classes). I love being with the same class every day so that you can get to know people. If I had one complaint it would definitely be the toilets … they could do with a little update there! However, they’ve got the most important things right. After 3 months, Russian feels so much clearer to me and I couldn’t be more grateful.