New intern Olivia: Freshly arrived and very happy!

New intern Olivia: Freshly arrived and very happy!
13 October 2020

I’m Olivia, a third year student of German and Russian at Cambridge University, UK. This year I’m on my year abroad, so I spent the past three months working in Berlin, and have now arrived in Moscow to intern and study Russian at the Liden & Denz Language Centre.

We’re living in very uncertain times and I definitely suffered with that while I was planning my trip here. In order to enter Russia, I was required to present a negative coronavirus test certificate, so I have spent the last two-three weeks worrying that I would either test positive and have to do the test again and delay the start of my trip, or have the borders close on me because of the rising infection rates. 

Why was I so bothered? I could have probably still gone to Germany and practised my other language a bit more – and that would have been the easier option, because I wouldn’t have needed a visa or a negative coronavirus test. The truth is, I really hated the idea of compromising on this, because although it has caused me more worry, I really felt it was worth it to be able to spend my year abroad in Russia. 

I first started learning Russian from scratch at the beginning of my first year at uni. I had previously studied German in school and mostly only travelled around Western Europe, so for me, Russian was really exciting! Reflecting on it now, I’m so glad I branched out and chose Russian as my second language instead of, for example, Spanish or Italian (although I’m sure those languages are also great). Studying Russian has introduced me to a completely different culture with a different set of values, a culture that is certainly not well understood in the West. This has been fascinating, because there is so much to learn and understand, and what’s more, useful: it made me think more deeply about my own values, which before were just something I had unconsciously inherited from the culture I grew up in. I hope that getting to know the language better and spending time amongst Russian people will help me to continue this journey, discovering more and more not only about Russia, but also about myself. 

Olivia, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Moscow

Russian culture

Posted by Olivia Wright

Hi, I'm Olivia and I'm currently studying German and Russian at the University of Cambridge in the UK. I was introduced properly to Russia and its culture two years ago, when I started learning Russian from scratch, and am now a big fan!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related posts
Interview with Walter Denz at Fontanka TV from 3. February 2015 focusing on the current business climate and the need to speak foreign ...
Read more
Я подумал, что таких, как я, — иностранцев, при- ехавших в только что открывшуюся За- паду россию без знания культуры и язы- ка, — должно быть ...
Read more
"Inspired by post-Soviet change and a lack of language knowledge, Walter Denz decided against pursuing his academic path and moved from ...
Read more
This week, Julia Voevodina and Walter Denz were guests at the Breakfast Club of the english speaking radio station Moscow FM, debating the ...
Read more