Goodbye for now!

Goodbye for now!
28 August 2020

A summer like no other! Now it is time to say goodbye.

2020 has certainly been a rollercoaster for everyone. That said, I want to focus on the good things!

Though stuck in Sweden with no option to travel, I was able to attend 3 months of Russian online courses at Liden & Denz via Zoom. I can testify that yes, distance learning can work very well if you have the right structure and study environment. Thinking back, it was the best thing I could have chosen to do this summer 2020.

I arrived in early June at level B1 and moved up a notch to level B2. The TRKI-2 (the equivalent of TOEFL for Russian) exercises that we go through in class each day becomes less and less scary. Before this summer, I still feel intimidated when opening a website and seeing a wall of Russian text!

This was a regular task during my internship at the Swedish Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine in the spring. Back then, I was Google Translating big parts of the texts. It is too frustrating to try to read, second-guess and summarise the news without it. Now, I can calmly read the same texts and voila, I actually understand a lot! It is now possible to follow the news and watch TV shows. Like a normal person. 

Goodbye for now!

Now that my time comes to an end, I want to thank my two teachers Lyubov and Zlata, who taught me all summer. This is not the first time I learn a foreign language and having good teachers make ALL the difference. When you have a complex language, even more so. 

Outside of class, I want to thank my supervisor Sasha. Writing articles and doing side work made my time at the school extra rewarding. Sadly I could not meet and get to know anyone else working at Liden & Denz given the circumstances, so the thank you list is short, but this summer shall not be the end.

Next summer, when all will hopefully be well again, see you in Saint Petersburg!

Nick Nguyen


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