Intensive Course in Russian Language

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Living in Kazan

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Tom CING-MARS: ‘I spent the summer of 2010 studying at the International Centre of Russian language studies that operates in conjunction with the Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities. There I was part of a two-month long program continuing to learn Russian and although I spoke Russian quite well at that point it should be mentioned that in the course of the next two months my Russian skills improved considerably thanks to my brilliant professors, my host family, and my Russian friends. I truly received a high-level education back there and classes and practice proved to be a perfect combination. In the day time I would be in class taking courses in language-related disciplines, and in the evening I would be out with my Russian friends, or hosts, practicing my Russian skills. I suggest that every American learning the Russian language should pick Kazan as a place to go‘.

Jane BLEVINS: ‘I fell in love with Kazan at first sight, just like that, as if there was no reason or logic in this act. I fell in love with all at once: the institute and the people, streets and buildings. I guess Russia is wrapped up in a certain mystery, one which cannot be unraveled but it makes one feel at home, one just has to sense it and accept it‘.

Seth JAEGER: ‘I would like to say that this summer that we have spent in Kazan was great in all respects and I do hope we get a chance to see each other again pretty soon!‘

Sean BODDEN: ‘The design, activities and resources offer many and varied opportunities to use and practice Russian. I also think there should be more integration of the courses (poetry reading in Phonetics, for instance). The combination of excursions and course work provides a wide scope and an enjoyable one‘.

Meagan DUNHAM: ‘I have had great experiences with this program and would recommend it to my friends who study Russian. The teachers are absolutely astounding – helpful, knowledgeable, inspiring. I’m also quite satisfied with the tutor aspect of the program. I imagined that we would mainly be studying together which we don’t, but I still consider conversations with my tutor very helpful in that I have made progress with my speaking skills thanks to her. All the program staff, including those who don’t teach, have been incredible. They really went out of their way to help me get through an extraordinary situation. My host family has been equally wonderful and have also helped me make progress with my language skills‘.

Bond FINSETH: ‘I am fully satisfied with the CLS program. It’s really great at getting students adapted to Russian culture, but like any study abroad program, you get out of it what you put in. I enjoyed how the focus was on oral communication – the focus in the US seems to be mainly reading and writing. The language partners and host families are a great way to get acclimated to the environment‘.


Stuart HARGREVES: ‘The year spent in Kazan with the help of the teaching team of the Centre has supplied me with such Russian language skills that I now happily work at the central UN office in New York. I’m truly convinced that Kazan is a perfect place to study Russian as well as ‘Russian mentality’ as it embraces in itself all the benefits of a big city and the features of Russian province with its open-heartedness, hospitality and sincere kindness of its people.’

Iris STEFAS: ‘The architecture of Kazan is simply wonderful. Especially the Kremlin, which lies next to the Kazanka river, is very beautiful. I also loved these old wooden houses with its various decorations’.

Melissa MAC DANIEL: ‘Life in Kazan was very good. I loved living in a family because my host mother prepared delicious food and helped me to adapt for the new environment. The lessons at the institute were very useful and interesting and improved my Russian immensely’.

Anna SEUBERT: ‘My life in Kazan was a row of different experiences and impressions, every single one being new and pleasant. In the city there are a lot of museums, one of them is fine arts museum. And what a great Concert hall they have! It is probably unique over for Europe and I remember listening to a brilliant orchestra performing Stravinsky and Prokofiev. The opera and ballet theater is equally beautiful’.

Jack BENJAMIN: “Thanks for everything. I have received an unforgettable experience in Kazan. I liked all classes. I was amazed by the deep proficiency in Russian of all teachers of the Centre. Your help is difficult to underestimate.”

Claudia BYSTROWSKA: “Thank you for wonderful excursions. We saw places which people who were born in Kazan didn’t see themselves. Thanks for your support and friendliness.”