A warm hello by Chris
My name is Chris. I am currently a new intern at the Liden & Denz Language Centre in St. Petersburg and studying Russian here. I am originally from Austria, studying economics at the University of Applied Sciences FH Burgenland in Eisenstadt/Burgenland. My home is close to the Lake Neusiedl in Burgenland, which is a beautiful place for water sports and summer tourism in general, AND where high quality wine is served, as this is a famous wine region. I personally love traveling, the more special places are – the better, all kinds of sports, listening to as well as producing music and, which might be the most important one, eating.
As the Russian language is an important part of my courses at university, I mainly hope to improve my language skills, through attending the daily Russian language lessons at Liden & Denz, meeting up with Russian people, spending time in the city and getting deeper insights on the Russian culture. I am looking forward to seeing new places and experiencing and, especially compared to Austria, a completely new mentality. In addition, I hope to fall in love with the local cuisine, as I always want to discover new tastes and recipes.
In summer 2016 I had to decide which university I wanted to join, and I chose one where I was able to combine economic courses with an additional foreign language besides English. The Russian language gives me not only the opportunity to talk to at least about 145 Million citizens, but also to explore the world’s largest country and its incredible cultural variety. As I am studying economics I am also aware of the fact that Russian economy offers interesting job opportunities and future possibilities.
A few weeks ago I visited Moscow, where I stayed for three weeks and have been in St. Petersburg for five days now. The first thing I experienced was that people in St. Petersburg are much more relaxed; the city seems less stressed than Moscow. You can already recognize this by comparing the walking speed when strolling through the city of Petersburg, as people here give me the impression of being more chilled. Beautiful and wide streets and places surrounded by breathtaking buildings and historical architecture make me feel like I am walking through the streets of a city in an earlier century.
We learned a little about the culture in our courses at university, but I am hoping to improve my knowledge and also widen my understanding of this culture by spending time with locals in typical places. I think experiencing a lifestyle and the behavior of the inhabitants in every day life is the best way to learn about a country and its people.
Before starting this journey, I, of course, informed myself about the destination I was going to travel. It already needed plenty of preparation in advance to come to St. Petersburg (and Russia in general), as a visa as well as insurances etc., were needed. After a few weeks of tough info collecting and organizing, I think I can now give you some hints concerning the preparation that is needed if you are traveling from Austria. I also checked the weather forecasts, experiential reports like blogs and general travel information to feel well prepared and to expect what Id during my time here. It is always interesting to search through hints and tips by other people and maybe hear about unknown places that may be worth a visit.
Servus und bis bald,
wishing you all a nice day!