Our student Eugenia from Italy has been studying at Russian Language Academy Durbe for about six weeks. We had a little chat about her experience of studying Russian in Riga.
Q: What inspired you to study Russian in the first place?
I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, but as I grew up in Italy I didn’t speak Russian. I have always felt connected to the country as well as the language and it was an old dream of mine to study Russian. So, I decided to study Russian at the University in Naples.
Q: Why did you choose to come to Riga to study Russian?
I had a friend, with whom I would practice Russian, and she has been to Riga to study Russian at Durbe RLA. She would tell me what a great experience it was for her. How much she loved the lessons at RLA Durbe, and the great progress she made.
Q: Are you happy with your experience of learning Russian in Riga so far?
Yes! I am very very happy! I am so happy that I came here to study Russian. My Russian has improved enormously since I have been here. More than I have imagined. Every day it gets better and better.
Q: What do you like most about the classes at RLA Durbe?
I like everything, but mostly how the lessons are constructed. We learn a lot of new vocabulary at the beginning of each week and will repeat it continuously during the week. Also, we always use expressions that we learned in previous lessons in different situations. This is extremely helpful. And of course, we speak a lot. I feel constantly challenged.
Q: What’s the main difference between the Russian Language lessons at home and RLA Durbe`s communicative approach method? Does the school`s method improve your skills?
I have been studying Russian for about six years and when I was at the university, I studied a lot of grammar, but after my graduation I realized that I could read and write in Russian and knew all the grammar rules, but I could barely speak a full sentence, because we never really practiced speaking. This all changed when I started studying at RLA Durbe. Since we constantly speak, I improved tremendously! During my 5 weeks in Riga, I have learned more than during six years at University.
Q: We know that you live in a host family, do you like it? Why did you decide to live in a host family?
I really like it. Living with a family gives you the opportunity to speak Russian every day before and after school as well as getting to know local customs and food. Personally, I am a very social person and I like having people around and also, it is just very comfortable since my host mom also prepares dinner for me. I would definitely recommend living in a host family.
Q: What was your favourite experience in Riga so far?
I love to go to the cinema to watch moves in Russian. And going on excursions outside of Riga with my friends from school is always so much fun.
Q: Do you have a favourite cafe/restaurant/bar/place in Riga?
My favourite Restaurant is Lido which is very conveniently located, just three minutes from school. It’s delicious and cheap. My favourite bar is Ala, which is located in Old Town. They have a huge selection of different beers. Try the honey beer!
Q: Have you visited places outside of Riga?
Yes! There are a lot of stunning places around Riga. I really liked Jurmala and Cesis. It is really amazing. I can fully recommend studying Russian in Riga!
As Evgenia said, Riga is an amazing city. Find out yourself and start your Russian language journey here!