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Thread: Learn Russian in Russia

  1. #1
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    Learn Russian in Russia

    Hi. I am 19 and have a gap year coming up (year between college ending and starting university). I want to learn Russian, have a bit of money to spend, and am wondering what place/institute/uni/course will suit me. I have been recommended Novosibirsk State uni and Minsk State uni (obviously not in Russia) so far. When I go, I will know little more than the alphabet and intend to stay for a year. If anyone has any thoughts on the matter, post

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    Почётный участник Sgt. Cold's Avatar
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    Depends on how much money you have, where to study. But if I were you I would immediately start by giving myself a head start by getting this book - New Penguin Russian Course Amazon.com: The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners (Penguin Handbooks) (9780140120417): Nicholas J. Brown: Books It is self study book with answers in the back. Just buy it! Don't even look for a better one. And get some audio CDs aswell from somewhere. Pirate Pimsleur if you have to. You do not want to go to Russia with only knowing the alphabet. That is for losers!
    "It's dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." --- Voltaire ---
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Cold View Post
    Depends on how much money you have, where to study. But if I were you I would immediately start by giving myself a head start by getting this book - New Penguin Russian Course Amazon.com: The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners (Penguin Handbooks) (9780140120417): Nicholas J. Brown: Books It is self study book with answers in the back. Just buy it! Don't even look for a better one. And get some audio CDs aswell from somewhere. Pirate Pimsleur if you have to. You do not want to go to Russia with only knowing the alphabet. That is for losers!
    Yeh I will purchase a study guide, and will know more than the alphabet, but not anything significant. Thanks for the response, anyway. I wouldn't be able to afford private group tuition, so would probably enroll on a uni course. any recommendations?

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    Theres a school in Moscow called ЦМО. Its actually a branch of MGU that specializes in teaching foreigners Russian.

    I studied there last year and I'd highly recomend it. Center For International Education :: Lomonosov Moscow State University

    That is their website. They'll give you everything from the invitation to a place to live. Though if you want to live on your own you can do that too. I lived in my own apartment.

    The cost is about 1,000 dollars for 3 months, 3 times a week, roughly 8 hours a day. You can study 5 times a week as well but its a little more expensive. Besides, you might want more free time to see the city, make friends, etc.

    Anyways its a good stepping stone for opening up Russia to yourself. I was recomended that place by a friend and now I'm recomending it to you Good luck

    Also, there is no due dates for joining and no applications.

    You can join any class at any time, all you will do is take a placement test when you get there so they know your level. But don't worry about showing up in february and thinking that you'll be behind or whatever, many people come and go regularly. So yeah, there ya go.
    Last edited by Dogboy182; December 20th, 2010 at 11:05 AM. Reason: Additional info.
    Вот это да, я так люблю себя. И сегодня я люблю себя, ещё больше чем вчера, а завтра я буду любить себя to ещё больше чем сегодня. Тем что происходит,я вполне доволен!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogboy182 View Post
    Theres a school in Moscow called ЦМО. Its actually a branch of MGU that specializes in teaching foreigners Russian.

    I studied there last year and I'd highly recomend it. Center For International Education :: Lomonosov Moscow State University

    That is their website. They'll give you everything from the invitation to a place to live. Though if you want to live on your own you can do that too. I lived in my own apartment.

    The cost is about 1,000 dollars for 3 months, 3 times a week, roughly 8 hours a day. You can study 5 times a week as well but its a little more expensive. Besides, you might want more free time to see the city, make friends, etc.

    Anyways its a good stepping stone for opening up Russia to yourself. I was recomended that place by a friend and now I'm recomending it to you Good luck

    Also, there is no due dates for joining and no applications.

    You can join any class at any time, all you will do is take a placement test when you get there so they know your level. But don't worry about showing up in february and thinking that you'll be behind or whatever, many people come and go regularly. So yeah, there ya go.
    ah cool

    how long did you study for, and how did you find the entire experience in general? and how was teaching quality?

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    Overall it was great. I studied for 6 months mid November till May(ish). 2009-10. The quality is amazing. The teachers are employed by MGU, which is one of the most prestigious Uni's in Russia. You even get an MGU student ID and people are usually pretty impressed by that.

    I had everyone in my class from 20 year old college kids doing a year abroad to 40 year old American businessmen trying to improve their Russian. Class sizes won't be bigger than 9 or 10 people and depending on your fluency level classes will be in either 50% to 100% Russian, but tailored for foreigners.

    For the price, service, and experience you can't get any better in my opinion,
    Вот это да, я так люблю себя. И сегодня я люблю себя, ещё больше чем вчера, а завтра я буду любить себя to ещё больше чем сегодня. Тем что происходит,я вполне доволен!

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Dogboy, and you know Russian pretty well already, isn't that right? So the school is able to sort students out into appropriate language levels?

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    IMHO going abroad with close to no knowledge of russian is a wrong move. The basics are the easy part, you would much more benefit of your time there if you master them. You don't need to be in Russia to learn morphology and the fundamentals of russian grammar.

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    I spent a year researching places to study in Russia after I completed my university degree and I decided on St Petersburg State University. I studied there from Sept 2009-June 2010 and had an amazing time. Not an exaggeration to say it was the best year of my life.

    I originally went though the Centre of Russian language and Culture(which they have now merged with the philological faculty's program for foreign students that was also running at the same time. So, they had two very similar programs running out of the same university(just on different campuses)). The prices though universities are much more reasonable than going to a "language school" - they really take you to town - like 1000 dollars a week or something ridiculous like that(whereas I paid 5,0000 for 10 MONTHS).

    So basically they have a couple different programs: They have a 10 month long course of intensive Russian language that students take to get to the level they need to enter a Russian University to study with regular Russian people. They have a similar program that is slightly less intensive called "General Russian", 20 hrs a week, which is what I took(you take a test on the first day and they place you in your level and you are free to move up as the months go on and you progress). They also have a special program just for beginners.

    I'll just talk generally about my experience: I had a great time and learned a lot there. The classes are 100% in Russian(we started with just grammar, speaking and phonetics classes but as we got better we were given literature, listening, history, Mass media, lexica and film classes as well. Though I heard from friends who arrived not knowing any Russian that the very beginning level has some English just to make sure that everyone is on the same page. So no worries there. Also it is daunting at first but you will be surprised how much you pick up just from listening to Russian for 5 hours a day!(luckily we had class only 4 days a week. Depending on your group you could have any of the weekdays off. I had fridays off for half of my time which was a great, a nice three day weekend which made traveling easier and then later I had Wednesdays off which was a nice little break in the week. The teachers were fantastic, and we were lucky enough to have some stay with us the entire 10 months, and to get fresh blood once in awhile which allowed for some different learning styles, new texbooks/materials as well. At most we had 12 people in a group but most often it was 2-6 people which allowed for a lot of speaking time. And the location is fantastic. It is just absolutely gorgeous in any season. I can't rave about it enough(it was the reason I chose Piter over Moscow. Moscow is amazing, but St. Petersburg makes my soul sing)

    Anyhow, here is their new site. Why learn Russian? | The Russian Language and Culture Institute

    Other programs which I seriously considered:
    1) Russian Language School Enjoy Russian | Petrozavodsk
    2) ODESSA LANGUAGE STUDY CENTRE. Russian language courses
    3) I also considered going through this place which gives you a huge list of universities to study at in various locations, as well as different programs(just learning language, or culture, fine art, acting, archeology ect.). SRAS Program Search Engine.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask!

    PS. I know some people have said it is best to know Russian before you go, but I secretly wish I hadn't. I had a lot of mistakes I had to break once I got to Russia. I wasn't taught some phonetical rules during my study of the language at home, and so when I got to Russia it was like trying to re-learn a word with a different pronunciation(Luckily most of us were in the same boat).

  10. #10
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogboy182 View Post
    Theres a school in Moscow called ЦМО. Its actually a branch of MGU that specializes in teaching foreigners Russian.I studied there last year and I'd highly recomend it. http://www.cie.ru/eng_index]Center For International Education :: Lomonosov Moscow State University[/url]
    The cost is about 1,000 dollars for 3 months, 3 times a week, roughly 8 hours a day.
    Unless my maths is completely off, that's <USD 2 /hour...
    Outstanding value.

  11. #11
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    Chaika. Yes I like to think my Russian is decent enough after 8 years. And yeah, they have placement tests. Plus you can request transfers higher or lower if you feel your lessons are too difficult / easy.
    Hanna. Well, I failed math every time I ever took it, but thats what I paid. Ok well it was more like 34,000.00P which is like 1,130.00 dollars. But still, for 3 months 3 times a week, it is quite and outstanding value.
    Negative guy. How else will you learn? Half of my friends at TSMO spoke no Russian upon arrival and had an awesome time. If the man wants it, let him have it.
    Вот это да, я так люблю себя. И сегодня я люблю себя, ещё больше чем вчера, а завтра я буду любить себя to ещё больше чем сегодня. Тем что происходит,я вполне доволен!

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