A reflection of my time in Riga
After spending three glorious months in beautiful Riga, sadly it was time to come home. I jumped onto a RyanAir flight, souvenirs in hand and Russian etched into my brain. But, as soon as I arrived back in miserable England it was like it was all a dream. The streets I used to wander through daily in Riga adorned by beautiful carvings and painted brightly were now grey skyscrapers lacking the ‘Riga Charm’. I cannot tell you how tempted I was to turn around and catch the next flight back to Latvia!
Although it was lovely reuniting with my friends, I could not help but missing the quaintness of Liden and Denz. Both teachers and students went out of their way to make me feel comfortable, and I met some people that I will never forget. Luckily, a lot of the close friendships I had made were with English people, and we are already planning a meet up. I never thought I would say this, but I was almost sad not waking up early for a Russian lesson. Or, admittedly, scrambling to do some last minute homework!
The thing that made Liden and Denz stand out from other language institutions that I had studied at was how personable the teachers were. The teachers made an effort to get to know you, which they made a valiant job of doing so. By the end of the three months, we knew each others hobbies, interests, and we sometimes even had ‘in jokes’, which is rather difficult to do with a language barrier!
I remember reading on the website that the course was taught like a spiral staircase. This meant constantly building upon what we had previously learnt and recapping it also. This was unique to what I had experienced before as I never had active revision in classes. Instead, it was expected of me to do it in my own time away from teachers. I found this technique extremely effective and it certainly helped to solidify key concepts in my head too. The books were completely in Russian which was rather daunting at first but overall great for vocabulary practice. Key concepts were divided into manageable chunks, with colours and illustrations to help visual learners.
Shortly after starting at Liden and Denz, I found out that the writing internship was available. I have been incredibly grateful for this experience and it has helped me to further develop my writing skills. Also, it has also given me motivation and purpose to get out and explore the incredible city of Riga. One of my favourite articles I wrote was about the iconic statues in Riga as I found conducting the research prior to finding the statues to be fascinating. Finding some of the statues was incredibly difficult, but also rather entertaining. As well as this, it gave me the opportunity to practice my Russian direction vocabulary. Once I, finally, found them, it was more intriguing to see them after knowing their history, and made me appreciate their craftmanship and purpose more.
I had never considered Latvia before as a holiday destination, but I have fallen totally in love with the country. I cannot wait to go back and hopefully study at Liden and Denz again. My time here has been incredible, and my Russian has improved immensely. I cannot thank the teachers enough for supporting me throughout my time here. I leave you all with fond memories and a heavy heart!
Большое спасибо. До свидания!
This blog was brought to you by Emily Gray, currently studying Russian at Liden and Denz in Riga
These images were taken by Emily