#StudentLife at Liden & Denz in Moscow
31 July, 2019
Looking at the student blog here at Liden & Denz, I was surprised to find no article about how being a student here is like. Before coming to Moscow, I wanted to know what a typical day for those studying Russian would consist of. Student life, in other words. This includes how Russian classes are like but also what happens after. This article is my effort to address this and help anyone who might or will go to Moscow to improve their Russian in the near future!
Classes at Liden & Denz usually begin at 10.00. Every Monday is exciting because this is when new students come and joins different groups. There are many different groups here, especially at lower levels which means it’s easier to find a group that suits one’s level the most. There is a placement test to help out, and you can also find the test online to see where you are at the moment.
Classes last about 4 hours. The group starts with casual conversation, and the teacher intervenes when new words and expressions are needed. This period at the beginning is good for your practical skills since they most resemble real life. After that, the more formal parts starts and the group goes through the textbook, working with grammar plus speaking practice too. I have studied at different levels with different teachers. They all have their own methods, but the focus on practical conversation is always there, which is a good thing.
One factor that I found to have a big impact on learning is class size. I have had groups as small as two and as large as ten. As a rule, the smaller the better as you can focus better, get more practice and also receive more personal attention from the teacher. Ten is still less than the typical number at universities, which can be 20+ and that is too many for me. One advice I have for Liden & Denz is to study when it is off peak summer season. Then, you will likely have a smaller group.
It is also easy to switch groups so pay attention to the schedule to see which groups are currently running. If your group feels too easy or too difficult, I found that one just need to ask and then right after I can join another group that fits better.
One can also request the creation of a new group at a new level, if there are more than one student who can join in. Groups and schedules are flexible so it’s all about arranging something with the school staff. Sometimes groups run in the afternoons, as are individual classes.
Classes usually end at 14.00. The rest of the day is yours to decide! Because of the smaller groups it is easier to talk to strangers. The fact that classes encourage conversation also helps, so it is possble to gather and meet somewhere after class.
Don’t forget homework, however! It can take half an hour to get them done. After every lesson I also try to learn all the new words from class. Each day this is about 40-60 words on average, so it does take time! It takes a couple of hours to learn them well so that you can use them (and not just recognise them).
The school is located near Belorusskaya metro station, an area with a good amount of restaurants and cafes. It makes hanging out after class very convenient. At the moment there is also one group that meets to go to clubs in the evening. So you will not be short of things to do. Moscow is not a city where you will get bored. People tend to complain the opposite: that it’s too much!
For me, I like to go explore major attractions in Moscow. Class ends early enough in the day that you can go places before it is rush hour. This is also when the weather is warm and bright outside. It is better to go to popular tourist places after class because you will avoid the long queues typical on weekends.
All in all, this makes for a pretty full active student life. If you are serious about improving their Russian, but also wants to get to know classmates and then explore what Moscow has to offer, you will always find something to do.