До свидания Emily!
It is sadly time to bid farewell to another one of our interns. I asked Emily a few questions to find out about her time working and studying here at Liden & Denz.
It’s not your first time in Russia. What made you decide to come back to St. Petersburg?
I was here five years ago, I studied through a programme called ACTR when I was in college. Then I came back to Russia the summer after to do an internship in Voronezh and spent time in St. Petersburg with old friends. I really missed the city and I’m hoping to start translating literature, for which I wanted to get my Russian back up to scratch, so it was the perfect opportunity to come back.
Did your expectations live up to the reality?
Yes! I was really hoping to improve my level of conversational Russian and the vocab that we learned in class came up a lot in conversation with Russians so I was happy. У матросов нет вопросов!
Has your perspective on Russia and St. Petersburg changed?
No, I don’t think it has. There’s a stereotype that Russians are super anti-American, and I think it’s important to come here because it’s not true. I’ve spent a lot of time here before, and I don’t think my perspective has changed, but I do think the city has changed a lot. It’s westernized a lot more, many more western-style cafes and coffee shops, but there are more options.
What are the living costs like compared to in the US?
I think that property is maybe comparable but food is a lot cheaper here.
Are you happy with your experience of learning Russian in St. Petersburg?
I’m happy with my experience because I’ve loved being back in the city, the teachers are great, and the internship is always engaging. I tried to explore alternative sides to the city so that I could find new ideas for blog posts.
Do you feel more comfortable speaking to Russians?
I guess it’s like what I was saying before, I hear the words we learnt in class coming up in conversation so I feel more comfortable trying to use new vocabulary because I understand how it works in context.
What was your favourite experience in Russia?
My favourite experience was climbing with Russians. Meeting my friend’s baby! I visited my very close friend from five years ago who I hadn’t seen in four years. 11 months ago she had a baby and he’s the fattest baby in the world. His name is Zhenya, he’s very happy, very wise for his years I think, and he looks like a little Buddha.
What is your recommendation for future interns?
Come prepared with a raincoat and a smile!