30 September 2016

Students of the University of Giessen have successfully completed their training at the Russian language courses, annually organized by the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language of the High School of the Russian Language and Intercultural Communication.

If current graduates of the Intensive Russian language courses from Germany were told by someone a year ago that rest is just a change of activity, they would likely laugh in their face. Cruel, isn't it? However, a year into language classes at the Institute of Slavic Studies of Giessen University, only 14 people were selected to participate in the Student Exchange Program. They came to Kazan to study the Russian language, to get acquainted with the Russian history, culture and get to know everyday life of our country.

Daily lessons of Russian grammar, reading, listening and speaking practice have become a perfect mode of change of activity: small groups, regular classes - and the hardest speech patterns do not seem to be so frightening any more. Moreover, it helps adjusting to the studies, to the city and communicating with a host family. Teachers of the courses claim: “Paying so much attention to potential or real speech mistakes of people, who only start learning Russian is excessive. If you speak genuinely and with a keen interest in your companion and in the topic, no one will notice your “flaws”.

Excursion classes have already become traditional in such educational projects. In these lessons students had an opportunity to see the sights of Kazan, to learn traditions and culture of Russian and Tatar people, the history of the city and its inhabitants, the traditions of the university life. The Kazan Kremlin impressed students with its ancient beauty and the Old-Tatar Sloboda amazed with its warm-heartedness the very first week. Students also were able to appreciate seriousness of  studying at the Kazan University when they learned that studying in Kazan was difficult not only to them, but also to Lenin, and to Leo Tolstoy. Museums, festivals, national holidays and traditional Tatar and Russian delicacies, new friends - this have made a strong impression on them this month.

Students from Justus Liebig University of Giessen are now ready to give valuable advice on how to learn a foreign language, especially so difficult as Russian. Even when the weather is bad, cold and lack of sun deprives of optimism and energy, when autumn spoils the mood, it is worth finding only four weeks to pack everything you need and to see how people live far away from your home.