A summary of my experience in St. Petersburg

Here we are, the end of this wonderful experience has come: it’s time to say goodbye to Russia. After two months in Saint Petersburg it’s hard not to be sad at the idea of leaving this wonderful country. This experience has changed me and changed me for the better. I would like to share with you some things I’ve learnt during the past two months in Russia! Russians are even more hospitable than I thought This wasn’t my first time in Russia, so I already knew that Russians are very hospitable people… but I didn’t quite realise to what extent! A few weeks before coming to Saint Petersburg I started looking for a room to rent. I asked a Russian friend to help me, to ask around and… I didn’t just find a room, I found a friend. Sasha hosted me for ...

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Different places, different faces

Every county has its own little characteristics, mannerism or even superstitions. But what about the people from Russia? You might have heard something about their stereotypes but not all of them are true or even false interpreted. Let’s put them to the test and see what’s really going on. Old versus new spirit When people think about Russia, they sometimes associate it with the cold war, post-war period, or outdated cities from the USSR. But that’s not the case anymore! Russia offers a huge variety of modern cities, just look at Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok, Sochi or Kazan. Of course, you will find some remains from communism but you can also find some old listed buildings from the Second World War in Europe. Russia has a booming economy and you can see this in every big city. The young ...

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Farewell to Keshia

The time has come, once again, to say goodbye to a fellow intern. Keshia is leaving after three months at Liden & Denz St. Petersburg. Keshia, tell me a little bit about yourself. I’m Keshia and I’m from Switzerland. I live in Zurich, in the German speaking part of Switzerland. I study multilingual communication. Why did you come to Russia and what inspired you to study Russian in the first place? I love Tolstoy and Russia has always fascinated me. Of course, as a language and communication student knowing many different languages is always a plus. But my biggest inspiration to study Russian was simply because of my love for languages and travelling. I love to explore new cultures and everything that comes with it: food, people, literature, art and I believe that language and culture a ...

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4 Skills of a Language and how to improve them

The four main aspects of every language are: Speaking Listening Reading Writing It makes a major difference when learning languages, if you’re at least familiar with the alphabet and don’t have to learn it from scratch. You may be asking which of these 4 language skills is the hardest to master? Well, studies show that most people struggle at first with reading and writing and then, when they begin to increase their language skills, they start to find speaking and listening more challenging. Get Speaking! When you’re a beginner the most important part about getting fluent at a language is to speak it, even if you make mistakes. Trying and failing is better than not trying at all. For most language learners their goal is to get fluent, so it is very satisfying to speak from the start and le ...

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How culture saved Leningrad during the Siege

The blockade was both unique in the scale of suffering and resilience exhibited. We can never imagine what it would have taken to survive 900 days (including 3 Russian winters), on rations lower than those in the Nazi concentration camps of the same period. So how did the jewel of Imperial Russia survive the siege? In a word: Culture. Firstly, culture was protected. In the build up to the Nazi attack the preparations undertaken to safeguard the culture of the city were extensive. The most valuable train in human history, packed with half a million items from the Hermitage was sent to the Urals, the Leningraders who packed it not knowing whether it would ever return. Monuments were covered in camouflage canvases to avoid detection from Nazi bombers, each canvas hand-painted by the citizens ...

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