“A year ago when I had just started studying Russian I felt as if I was in the first grade. This is because I had to study the alphabet and to learn to read again. At first I studied letters and spelled the words but managed it all very slowly,” – recollects Kristina Pankova who has been studying at the faculty of Philology for the whole autumn semester.
She came to our university within Erasmus Mundus exchange program which is aimed at academic mobility of students and professors.
In her homeland Kristina is getting a degree in Philology at the Faculty of Philosophy of Masaryk University in Brno (Check Republic). She plans to become an interpreter that is why she wants to speak Russian perfectly.
“I want to speak Russian so that no one sees that I am a foreigner. I want to speak without an accent and don’t want to pause to think about the meaning of the unknown words all the time.” In order to reach this goal she studied a lot on her own, listened to music and audio courses, watched films and videos, read articles on the Internet. But it wasn’t enough and she decided to come to Russia to merge with the language environment.
Choosing a university didn’t take much time. According to Kristina PetrSU seemed to be open to foreign students because the information on the web-site is given in English and one can have an insight of how the studies are organized.
She also got to know that one can choose where to live, in a host family or in a dormitory. She chose the second option. “I want to communicate with the Russian students, to know how they live and what hobbies they have. The head of the dormitory was very friendly to me and offered her help in case I had some problems or questions.” – tells Kristina. This is how the most common European stereotype of the Russian closed nature and unfriendliness was dismantled.
Kristina’s coursemates who attend lessons of Russian, literature and Russian history with her give her a hand with the studies. She has also decided to study a course of Polish organized by PetrSU.
In her free time Kristina takes walks around the town. She likes the waterfront and sometimes goes jogging there. “There are a lot of monuments. It is a great place to relax and to do sports. I want to take the atmosphere of this place back home to Check Republic,” – says Kristina. According to her, she brings home magnets from every country she has been to. “Travelling is my hobby and magnets are the guides through my pleasant memories,” – told Kristina.