with 6 Comments

Извините, ребята! It feels like it’s been forever since the last post here. How are your Russian studies going? In April I started doing a weekly языковой обмен with a girl in Kyiv. It’s good practice, though she a) gets upset when I don’t know the answer to a question about life in America and b) says conversation questions are silly and it’s better if we work on grammar instead. Nooooooo!! :p

But still, it’s the only practice I’m getting right now. Because the rest of what would be study time is going to a nobler (and more paperwork intensive) cause….


That’s right! The visa application is now in the mail!

It’s early to assume the best, so at this point I’m not a person who is going to Russia, but rather just a person who has done the paperwork to go. The whole process wasn’t so bad- last time there was a mandatory lung TB x-ray involved, and the Russian consulate was years away from having an online application. Also, now there’s an outside agency that will make the in-person application for you so that you don’t have to travel to the consulate. (Or at least I didn’t know about that option before?) But I’m still nervous about it all working out. Dealing with Russian bureaucracy always makes me feel like this guy-



6 Responses

  1. J.T.
    | Reply

    Luckyyy! Perhaps one day soon I will be able to visit Russia too. A visit to Kazan, Ufa, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, or Novgorod would be interesting, no doubt. If I follow along with my university’s study abroad schedule, I’ll be able to go to Russia during the year it’s hosting the World Cup (and holding presidential elections…that should be REALLY interesting!).
    I find it funny and kind of strange that the Ukrainian girl you’re practicing with gets upset when you can’t tell her things about life in America. As for my own Russian studies, my one-on-one conversation sessions with a native speaker ended this week, so I have no one to talk to 🙁 I guess it’s just grammar drills, reading and listening for me…
    On the other hand, I’ve started to read Kommersant’ without the use of a translator app a lot, so I’m glad to see I’m making progress there.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Fingers crossed for you! I know you said studying in St Petersburg was a big draw for you, but if you’d be up for Nizhniy Novgorod instead, this summer school is supposed to have a lot of scholarships available from the RU government. I just missed the cut-off this year, but the international office was really promoting it.

      Yeah, most recently she wanted to know if it was difficult to start a business in the states. Honestly, I have no idea. And she’ll want big sweeping generalizations like “where do all Americans go on vacation?” or “I read that American women do X, why?” and I totally suck at answering those kinds of things :p Do you think you’re going to look for a new native speaker to practice with?

      • J.T.

        Why business of all things?
        As for the new native speaker, I probably will if my schedule allows.

      • Richardlanguage

        I have a friend in Kyiv who might be interested in a language exchange on line. Her English isn’t great–I don’t think she studied it much formally. She is just a chatty person. She enjoys travel, so I think she’d like to improve her English.

        She also used to teach Russian literature, so she understands Russian grammar well, if needed.

  2. Richardlanguage
    | Reply

    Clearly she prefers grammar to conversation! It’s harder to tell if you got conversation answers correct or not. Black & white is not the way to learn languages–or at least to have fun with them.

    • Katherine
      | Reply

      Richard, do you have any posts with tips on doing language exchanges? I feel like I read such a post on your site once…

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