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Challenge Russian

Studying Russian is Rewarding!


We interviewed one of our students from the UK, Ben, about his Russian studies here in Riga. See below how studying Russian can be rewarding!

Why did you choose to study in Riga?

Before coming to Riga, I had spent time in Vladivostok (Russia) and Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). I wanted to spend the summer in one of the Baltic nations, and Latvia just called to me. Riga has been a great place to live and study, and its proximity to Estonia and Lithuania makes traveling really easy.

What’s your favorite thing to do after class?

After class, my friend and I always go to the Central Sports District to play volleyball. It’s a short tram ride away from the school, and totally free to play. Also, it’s a great way to keep in shape without spending money on a gym. There are basketball courts, soccer fields, and outdoor gym equipment as well, so there’s always lots of people out there exercising.

What is your favorite aspect of Russian to learn?

I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a grammar nerd, perhaps somewhat to the detriment of the other elements of language learning. Russian grammar to me is like a 50,000 piece jigsaw puzzle; it’s a slow, laborious process to put it all together, but once you have a section nailed down it’s very rewarding.

What do you think is rewarding about studying in Riga is for Russian language students?

The vast majority of people I have spoken to in Riga know Russian pretty well, and it seems that most older people are virtually fluent. You will hear Russian in the street, on the tram, and around town.

What’s your favorite thing about class?

My favourite thing is that I am forced to talk. Before coming here, my confidence in my ability to string a sentence together was pretty low. Now, even if my sentences aren’t perfect, I can  communicate what I want in a way that people can better understand. So, talking in class all the time has been really advantageous.

What’s your favorite word or phrase in Russian?

The phrase I like most is a quote from my favourite Russian book, “The Nose” by Nikolai Gogol. “Чепуха совершенная делается на свете.” It roughly means “There is nonsense being done in the world.”