[Covid-19]: Liden & Denz switches to distance learning

Meet Stefania, our new intern from Italy

30 January, 2020

Hello! My name is Stefania and I’m the new Intern at Liden & Denz in Saint Petersburg. To be honest, I spent the last several weeks searching for information on how to survive russian winter (if you’re like me, this blog may be very helpful). Don’t laugh at me. I come from Ischia, a beautiful and sunny island in the very South of Italy.

After finishing high school I decided to move to another island: Venice, where I’ve been attending the faculty of foreign Languages at the Ca’ Foscari University. There I have chosen German, which I have been studying in school, and Russian. During my third year of university I did an Erasmus in Marburg, Germany. I spent there five months and that was my first time living in a place that was not an island, though Marburg overlooks the Lahn river, so let’s say that I like to live by the water. Back to Italy, I’ve passed my last exams, wrote my thesis and finally graduated last November.

Four years have passed since I started university, but I remember my first year of studying Russian as if it was yesterday. This fascinating, yet challenging language was completely new to me and I admit that I often felt discouraged. I spent hours and hours trying to figure out how to properly use verbs of motion, wondering who invented the rule of animate accusative and making awkward faces in the attempt of correctly pronounce the “y” sound. But no surprises, they say that if you want to be good at something you must devote most of your time to that.

During my bachelor I specialized in Russian literature. In other words, I spent the last three years reading novels containing 500 (or more) pages each, written by folks whose surnames are pretty famous. Ever heard of Dostoevskij, Tolstoj, Goncharov, Turgenev or Bulgakov?

I remember studying for my second year’s exam of Russian literature. Besides the critical essays and the notes I had to read five novels. 2500 pages full of people who like to dance mazurka, nihilist students and many, many duels. So yes, my conception of Russia was a bit old-fashioned. After my graduation I felt that it was time for me to experience what it’s really like to live in modern Russia.

So here I am, in Saint Petersburg. My flight has landed in Pulkovo airport just three days ago and my passport received its very first stamp. I’m going to live here for two months, taking Russian classes and writing articles for this blog. It feels strange to finally be here after three years of learning things about this country. I’m glad that St. Petersburg will be my home for a while. It is a big city with so many things to see, so much to do. Everything is so new to me and I’m currently trying to remember the names of the streets. Meanwhile I’m desperately trying not to slip on  icy sidewalks (yes, it has already happened. Twice). Apart from these little accidents, I’m enthusiastic!

To find out more about life in Saint Petersburg as a foreigner, make sure to read my next articles!

Fancy a trip to Russia? Want tips or ideas to plan your journey? Check out previous posts on our blog!

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Posted by Stefania Di Meglio

Stefania Di Meglio is Italian. She holds a bachelor degree in Language, Civilisation and the Science of Language. She is currently interning at Liden & Denz in Saint Petersburg.

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