A summary of my experience in St. Petersburg
29 September, 2017
Here we are, the end of this wonderful experience has come: it’s time to say goodbye to Russia. After two months in Saint Petersburg it’s hard not to be sad at the idea of leaving this wonderful country. This experience has changed me and changed me for the better. I would like to share with you some things I’ve learnt during the past two months in Russia!
Russians are even more hospitable than I thought
This wasn’t my first time in Russia, so I already knew that Russians are very hospitable people… but I didn’t quite realise to what extent! A few weeks before coming to Saint Petersburg I started looking for a room to rent. I asked a Russian friend to help me, to ask around and… I didn’t just find a room, I found a friend. Sasha hosted me for two months without taking any money. I had the opportunity to live with this kind, young woman and her family, to experience the real Russian daily life, to practice Russian… This experience made me think a lot about the concept of trust: would I be able to do the same for a stranger? Trust is the thing I am most grateful for, it’s a great honour to be trusted, especially by a stranger.
I’ve opened my eyes to new cultures
Spending two months studying and working at Liden & Denz in Saint Petersburg has given me the opportunity to meet people from all around the world. We’ve shared experiences, interesting stories and plans for the future. My new friends inspired me to travel more and to always be curious about other cultures. Following this experience I’ve really learnt to appreciate cultural differences and that they only make a friendship stronger!
We should never take beauty for granted
Just like the Russian language, Russia itself keeps surprising me. What I like most about Russia is that I never get used to this country’s beauty. Every day I spent in Saint Petersburg I was continually overwhelmed by the colours of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, by the lights of Nevsky Prospekt, by the magnificence of Hermitage… the list is endless. On occasion people in the street must have thought I was crazy, because I would smile and tell myself: “you are just so lucky to be here!”
I’m able to adapt
When I arrived in Saint Petersburg I realised that I had a terrible sense of direction and spent a lot of time getting lost. Yet this week, my last week, some Italian friends came to visit me and I was able to guide them round: I knew exactly where to go, where the best restaurants were, which metro line we needed to go to a certain place… They told me that I acted like a настоящая петербурженка (a real citizen of St. Petersburg) and I was so proud of myself. It was such a strong feeling – I learnt about the city much more than I thought I could do, I realised that Saint Petersburg feels like home to me now. It came at a great cost and it was at times challening to live outside my comfort zone, but getting used to this new environment was incredibly rewarding.
So this will be my last post. A summary of my experience in Saint Petersburg, a time that I will always remember fondly. I hope you enjoyed my blog and that I was able to share my immense love for this amazing country.