The first time I came to Russia was for three months on a student exchange at the Siberian Federal University (SFU) in Krasnoyarsk. Later, I decided to do a Master's and I had no hesitation as to which university to choose. People at SFU already knew me. I loved Siberia, and by that time I could speak Russian reasonably well. I had started learning Russian in Spain in a foreign languages course. I had chosen Russian instead of Chinese or Arabic, and now I'm convinced that I made the right choice.
Siberia was a place of discovery for me. First of all, I learned that life doesn't stop even at the lowest temperatures. At -40 Celsius we went for walks in the Stolby Nature Reserve: We climbed to the top of the rocks where my friends opened a thermos flask, took out a gas stove and heated tinned stewed meat from metal cans. And that was happiness. And what a view! As Russians would say in such cases: "Breathtaking!"
Secondly, the Siberians turned out to be "different". They are open towards foreigners but reserved with each other. Maybe foreigners are a rarer phenomenon than for people living in big cities, and therefore I felt their attention and support. The Siberians appreciate it when a foreigner tries to speak Russian, even with mistakes. They always told me: "Well done, you speak excellent Russian!", although it was a no-brainer that this was not the case!
In Russia there is a different approach to teaching students; there is a greater distance between teacher and student - it must be a tradition surviving from the USSR. Everything is strictly regulated, and there is a lot of theory. Teachers criticized my work and tore it to pieces, and I always took it to heart. I had to submit my Master's thesis five times! Involuntarily you begin to doubt your mental abilities. But my Russian teacher Elena Vladimirovna
Spanish humor is similar to Russian humor, but there are slight differences. We Spanish like self-irony. For example, I often jokingly call myself a numbskull. But once, a female friend from Krasnoyarsk said that I shouldn't do this; instead of belittling myself, I should love and appreciate myself
Having moved to St. Petersburg, I was disappointed: Grey skies and monochrome building facades. I like the Siberian winter with frost, sun and walks in the forest. The second capital is too European a city: In its
People in St. Petersburg treat foreigners differently: there is none of the attention that I loved so much in Siberia - people just live their own lives.
Here, more than in Siberia, people are interested in literature and art; they love and remember their history. To
Read more: 7 reasons to study abroad in Russia
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