Meet our student

Friedelind Stadler from Villach, Austria, is a student at our Saint Petersburg Language Centre. It is the fourth time she has decided to come to study at our school to improve her knowledge of the Russian language.

What was your past or is your present profession/position? Right now, I am retired, but I used to teach English and Italian at a secondary school.

Why did you decide to learn Russian and why in Russia? Well, I speak Spanish, English and Italian, and in addition to that I have always wanted to study a Slavic language.

A lot of people consider learning Russian a challenge. Regarding your personal experience, do you agree?

 No, not at all. As I studied other languages before, I definitely do not think Russian is more difficult than they are. As a matter of fact, every language has its rules and exceptions, not only Russian.

What do you find easy or difficult about learning Russian? I would say the spelling of words.

Could you share with us some interesting moments, experience or events during your stay here? Well, I really enjoy the cultural programme the city offers. In winter I like going to the theater to listen to operas or see ballets, visiting museums and expositions. However, during summer, I prefer having more contact with nature, like going to parks and visiting palaces and castles, like Pushkin, Petergof, Oranienbaum, Gatchina and Pavlosk.

How does your stay in Russia compare with other trips, either travel or learning a language?

I do not see much difference to other countries. Here I stay with a Russian family and wherever I have travelled to study I have done the same. I think Russians are very kind and helpful towards foreigners. Whenever I travel on the underground or when I take the bus, I see them calm and disciplined, even during rush hours. In shops or cafes, I find the employees very polite. I, for my part, have the impression that the city is safe, I am not afraid of going home late at night. I have never experienced any unpleasant incident anywhere or at any time here in this country.

Going back home, what will you miss about Russia? The language and the cultural activities, of course.

What do you think about Russian food? I think it is quite delicious, I’m vegetarian and my favorite dishes are Syrniki, Bliny and Grechka.

How long have you been in Russia? In total 7 months. Once I travelled to Irkutsk , -which is a very interesting city, on the Transiberian Railway, I have also been to Moscow several times, but I like St. Petersburg best.

What do you think about our school? I find it very modern and well equipped. All the teachers I have had so far are very friendly, open- minded, competent, helpful and witty, quite different from the cliché of the reserved and grumpy Russian.

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