Goodbye and thank you, Liden & Denz!
I can’t believe my time in Russia, and at Liden and Denz, has already come to an end. Although I have been studying online since the end of February, I have only been in St Petersburg for 6 weeks or so. I’ve had such an amazing time here and it seems like only a few days ago that I arrived. As much as I’m looking forward to seeing home again, I’m really going to miss St Petersburg! Here’s a few things I have learned during my time at Liden & Denz.
Studying and interning at Liden & Denz
Before studying at Liden & Denz, I thought I had a fairly good range of vocabulary in Russian, although I knew my grammar needed a lot of work. Little did I know just how much work I needed to do, with both grammar and vocab! These past few months at Liden & Denz have been fantastic not only for consolidating the basics of Russian grammar that I hadn’t quite grasped, but also for going deeper into the more complex aspects of the language. Along the way, my vocabulary has also improved and I feel much more confident in general when using Russian day to day. In addition to this, I’ve been learning all about the history of Russia as part of the Academy course; this has been so rewarding and made a good break from the pitfalls of Russian grammar! For all this and more, I have to say a special thank you to my teachers Lilian and Anastasia online in Moscow, and Liubov and Garold in St Petersburg. Each of them has a distinct teaching style which made every lesson different, and therefore all the more enjoyable.
I have also been busy with my internship at Liden & Denz over the past five months. The blog, of course, has been the majority of my work – it’s been so much fun to research and write about different topics each week. However, other highlights have to include translating and adding English subtitles to Walter Denz’s interview with Arkady Sharogradsky, and proofreading the latest edition of the school’s student handbook. I have discovered a love of the way the English language works as well as Russian during this internship! I’d like to say a special thank you to Sasha, my internship supervisor, for giving me such great opportunities during my time here and constantly being available to guide me through any tasks.
Life in Russia
Having first studied Russian online for around four months, I certainly learned a lot – but nothing quite compares with the learning experience of actually living in Russia. Although I definitely encountered a bit of culture shock at the start of the trip, everything quickly became familiar and I learned to love the little quirks of Russian life that make it so different from life in the UK. I was lucky enough to live in the centre of the city with a host family, who were always happy to chat and give general advice about the practicalities of life in Russia.
One thing that definitely surprised me about living in Russia is that almost any food that you might want is available in the supermarket – so if you simply want some home comforts, you can almost always find them (we even found baked beans in our local supermarket, a British favourite!). Together with my friends from the UK, as well as some newfound friends from school, I also made sure to pack in lots of Russian cultural activities. Some of my favourite memories are the midnight boat tour around St Petersburg to see the bridges open up, and a day trip to Pushkin to see Catherine Palace.
I am really hoping to come back to St Petersburg as soon as possible; for now, though, it’s back to university in the UK to finish my final year of studying Russian at undergraduate level. A big thank you goes out to all the staff at Liden & Denz for being so supportive, and I hope to see you all again sometime in the near future!