Why I decided to study in Russia – in 2022
I looked up statistics for the Master Programme in Russian and Post-Soviet Studies that I am finishing at my home university. Would interest abroad for Russia increase or decrease nowadays?
To my surprise, the number of applicants this year went up – by over 30%.
Interest in Russia is increasing, but to understand Russia, one has to spend time there. Yet, as exchange programmes, flight connections, foreign bank cards, etc. are cancelled, it is getting harder.
But not impossible. Far from it.
After a turbulent few months, I and other foreign students also on exchange in Russia found ways to stay on. International bank transfers still work and traveling in and out of Russia possible and not too expensive (hint: cheapest is transit by bus from Finland or Estonia). Once in Russia, no pandemic rules remain.
Most importantly, the Russians we met and made friends with have not changed. We as foreigners didn’t face any new problems here from locals.
As such, there is no need to be nervous, and in any case, if you need help and do not know anyone, there is always your Embassy who you can call for advice.
The need for foreigners with a good knowledge of Russia and Russian remains, whatever happens. Russians are the same people as they were before. My daily life in Moscow and now Petersburg remains as it was, though it may surprise some. Most shops are open as usual. I cannot say that life as a student here has gotten harder.
For countries to have good relations with each other, people-to-people contact is important. And it is even more important today.
As such, I am happy to be spend the summer learning Russian, again at Liden & Denz, meeting the same teachers and staff I have known for years. My Russian improves faster, my understanding of Russia increases, and all this will be very useful in the future, both for myself and for society.
Consider doing it too!