30 June, 2017
It’s time again to bid farewell to one of our wonderful interns. Cynthia has spent two months in St Petersburg for her gap year and is now returning to school to study medicine. Before she left, we sat down and talked about her experiences in Russia.
So, tell me about yourself.
My father’s Swiss and my mom is Hungarian and I grew up moving around a lot. I just came here from Washington DC and this is the end of my gap year. I’ve been working at the National Institute of Health for seven months and for the last two months of my gap year. I came here very spontaneously just because I used to live in Moscow ten years ago. And of course, it totally changed my perception of everything, I’m so glad I came here. And it so important to me now, I wouldn’t have thought Russian would have such a big impact on me.
So, you kind of touched on this a bit – when did you decide to pick up Russian again and why?
Because the guy the school belongs to, Walter Denz is school friends with my dad. And so we see him every year, our families meet and stuff. What happened was he was visiting us in DC three months ago. I was talking about my issue of not knowing what I’m going to do with these few months before university starts and he suggested I come here and learn some Russian. My dad lived here when he was working at the embassy in Moscow and he offered me this intern job which is amazing – I mean, who doesn’t want to learn Russian for free?
Do you have any recommendations for future students?
What type of recommendations?
Like what to bring, what to expect.
What to bring – well, I brought a tonne of summer clothes that I never even unpacked because it’s the end of June now and we’re still suffering through ten degrees. I mean you don’t have to go overboard with clothes but it can get cold. It’s very windy. Other than that, just be open towards the culture – I mean it is different, I’m sure it’s a culture shock to people that are coming from the US who’ve never left that part of the world before and of course, people’s mentalities are very different here. But don’t see it as…I think it’s such a wrong way of looking at things if you think of Russians as cold or – you know, like that cause they’ll help you out. I fell in love with St Petersburg, I’d live here forever if I could.
What do you plan to do now? You’re going back to school, you said?
Yeah, I graduated from the German version of high school last year. Since then, I was working at the NIH (National Institute of Health) at a research lab and now I’m going to start studying medicine in August. It’s still unclear, either in Budapest or in Germany.
Would you come back?
Absolutely! If I could study here in English or German I would totally come here and stay here cause I’ve totally fallen in love with this city. And I’m really sad to go. Just thinking about the fact that two months ago, I thought I was to come here to blog a bit and – what can you do in two months? Nothing. But now I’m on a level where I can somewhat express myself and have conversations. It’s definitely something I’m going to keep doing that’s changed the view of my future cause now I’m going to have to make space for like, Russian courses and keeping up this language.
Awesome.Well, that concludes our interview, thank you for your time and I wish you safe travels.