Moscow: Final reflections
I’m feeling pretty sad now that I’ve come to the end of my almost-three-month stay in Moscow – but it’s time to gather my thoughts and reflect on everything I’ve got out of my time here, and hopefully impart some gems of wisdom to potential future interns at Liden & Denz.
First of all, I’ve had a wonderful time in Moscow, which in view of coronavirus is better than what I ever could have expected! I think that three months has definitely been enough time for me to get used to the city and feel integrated.
Which brings me onto an important point: there are lots of foreigners who have come to Moscow to work, who also learned Russian from scratch at some point, and who don’t necessarily speak perfect Russian either! If you consider yourself in the same boat as them, you can feel more confident trying out your Russian on a stranger in the street.
At the start of my stay, I preferred to wander around for ages and get lost rather than simply ask somebody for directions (by the way, Moscow is a huge city and there are many places you simply won’t ever find if you don’t ask someone). But after some time, I noticed that I didn’t feel too shy to ask a question in a shop or enter into a conversation with a stranger. Considering I’m quite an introverted person, that’s really something!
Having the opportunity to take Russian lessons in Russia certainly helped me on this journey. I find that Russian lessons often make me want to start speaking Russian, especially as the teachers at Liden & Denz are so enthusiastic about their language. The fact that I am in Russia means I am actually able to speak Russian whenever I feel inspired to – and the more you do what you’re afraid of, the less you’ll be afraid of it! Plus, learning an aspect of grammar or a cool new phrase in your lesson and being able to put it into practice in conversation (literally as soon as you finish your lesson, if you want) helps consolidate that new knowledge in your memory.
If you want to make that work as well as possible, I would recommend staying with a host family (homestay accommodation) instead of living on your own – especially if you’re studying or working from home due to coronavirus restrictions. Without a doubt, your Russian host family will be interested in finding out about you and your home country, which means plenty of conversation opportunities!
Well, it’s goodbye for now. I’d like to thank all the staff at Liden & Denz for your hard work and kindness. Future interns, I wish you a happy and productive stay in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Irkutsk or Riga!