“Je suis venue te dire que je m’en vais”

09 July, 2020

= I came here to tell you that I leave

These few words from Gainsbourg are the best way I found to say goodbye. After four and a half months of Russian classes and internship at Liden & Denz, I am going back to my normal life in the little French village I come from.

To call the last months “memorable” is quite a weak word. They were a concentration of events which will follow me for a very long time. First place, I made my dream to live in Russia true. I am incapable of telling you why this has always been on my “to do” list, why this French girl hating the cold, grammar and mayonnaise decided to come to Russia to learn Russian and be confronted to these exact three things on a daily basis. Whatever, it has always been a fascinating country to me, on the cultural, historical and linguistic basis, so I decided to go. These “to do” lists we have all done at 16 and still full of hope and optimism have not only the inconvenience of being incredibly cheesy but also do they often idealise places and actions which end up being completely disappointing. Here it wasn’t, and I simply spent 6 weeks in St. Petersburg which couldn’t have been better, if not longer.

Second, I lived on my own for the first time. I studied for the Bachelor in a city just next to where my parents live, so I didn’t have a reason to move out, even though this was something I wanted to do for years now. And suddenly, I found myself in my wonderful studio right next to Nevsky Prospekt, 13 minutes from the school by foot. And let me tell you I was living my best life. The friends I made in school were also an immediate match. We met on my first day at school, went for lunch together on the second and didn’t leave each other until we had to leave Russia, and are currently planning our holidays together.

That emotional rollercoaster was obviously not enough as Corona decided to jump in. The three months I was supposed to spend there transformed in 1,5 months there, and 4 months in total. My trip back home through Helsinki was quite a thing too, but I arrived safely and enjoyed the company of my family. I thought that this new situation would be very inconvenient for my progress in Russian, but it wasn’t. I continued classes via Zoom, and it all worked very well, having now progressed to the level A2+.

At the same time, I was also doing the internship at Liden&Denz. This task has been very helpful in the beginning to make Russian friends, as I was giving German classes to them. Also, writing articles on Russian culture has encouraged me to try and understand it more deeply, as well as gaining experience in the journalistic branch. As I was also doing researches, the variety of the tasks has let me discover new subjects I barely knew and taught me way more I expected.

My arrival in St. Petersburg

My arrival in St. Petersburg

 

I would like to thank Galina, my first teacher, for her humour and enthusiasm which let us survive our first steps in Russian (which are the hardest), Juliana, my second teacher, for her patience and motivation without which I would have given up much earlier. Also, I would like to thank Sasha, my internship supervisor, for her open mind and the freedom she gave me to experience certain subjects in a less classical way.

Last but not least, I would like to make a special dedication to Khachapuri, which have been there for me from day 1, and which I will never forget. Hope to see you soon xx

Here are pictures of my first and my last Khatchapuri/day in Russia: 

Kim Schierke

Posted by Kim Schierke

My name is Kim, I’m 21 years old and I just graduated from International Relations at the University of Geneva. I have always been fascinated by Russia, because of its language and its culture. During my studies, this interest has kept on growing and I even ended up writing my thesis about it. Learning the language, therefore, comes as an evidence.

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