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Why not study in Russia?

A good reason to come to Russia for an extended stay -- and essential to make the experience truly worthwhile for long-term expatriates or regular visitors -- is to learn the Russian language. Lessons are relatively inexpensive, and the benefits immeasurable.

Cost varies depending on where your school is located, how often you study, and what type of organization you go through. As a minimum, expect to pay $65 a week, with some institutes charging as much as $120. Private lessons, which can be arranged through advertisements or personal contacts, are approximately $10 an hour.

Many Russian universities offer preliminary language study courses for people who want eventually to enroll in regular university classes. Often there are separate language programs affiliated with the university for those who want lessons that are focused on essential verbal skills for day-to-day life, rather than preparatory course work. In keeping with Russia's emphasis on personal contacts when getting anything done, these programs are easiest to get in touch with via a former student, but it is possible through a liaison.

These are designed by and for foreigners, and are likely to be the simplest option, especially for those arranging the course from abroad. These organizations cater specifically to first-time visitors, but be aware that the price will be raised accordingly. The organization should take care of visas and accommodation, and most will arrange airport pick up and general orientation to your new location. They can make a first trip to Russia substantially less confusing ‹ and by the time you leave, you should know enough of the language to take care of yourself.

As an alternative to commercial organizations, universities with good Russian Studies departments usually have well organized study-abroad programs in partnership with Russian universities.

If a structured course program is not what you are looking for, it is possible to find tutors who are more flexible in terms of course content. Some tutors advertise directly in newspapers (check the Classifieds section of The Moscow Times), otherwise it tends to be word of mouth ‹ almost any foreigner will know of someone who can recommend a teacher. Universities are generally reluctant to give away names of the teachers who work for them, so usually students start out in formal lessons and then make some arrangements on their own for more study.

If conversation practice is what you want, putting up an ad for language exchange on a university bulletin board, or responding to an ad in one of the English newspapers is a possibility. Many Russian students are eager to practice with native English speakers, and interested applicants will not be in short supply.

Source: The Moscow Times

Disclaimer - The contents of my news section are taken from Russian sources and are included here for information purposes only. By including this information I hope to give readers an insight into Russian life. I am in no way endorsing, agreeing or supporting any views contained within.


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