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30.08.2017 University life

This year the Russian Language Summer School of Tomsk Polytechnic University brought together over 130 international students. Engineers, teachers and students came to Tomsk to study Russian. Some study the Russian language to fulfill their childhood dream while others believe that Russian might be useful at work. Students of the Language School shared their stories, told why they decided to study Russian, what challenges they faced and which words they consider the most beautiful.

Photo: Xerome Fernandez Alvarez.

Xerome Fernandez Alvarez came from Spain to TPU Russian Language Summer School before the beginning of a new academic year. He joined the master courses of Universitat Politècnica de València.

“I always admired the Russian language and Russian culture. I believe that knowing a language is an advantage.  

I already know Spanish, English, and can speak Portuguese. I really hope that I will be able to master the Russian language as well. I study power engineering and the knowledge of languages will definitely benefit in my future profession,” – told Xerome.

Photo: students of the Language School. 

Xerome has been studying Russian for about three years. Once a week he had classes with the native speaker. However, as he says, he didn’t progress too much and decided to come to Russia and immerse in the language environment.

“I always wanted to come to Siberia because it is famous for its language teachers and everyone around you speaks Russian. The most difficult for me are the motion verbs. There are so many of them and they are all the same. But anyway, I notice a huge progress during three weeks,” – shared Xerome.

From childhood dream to reality

Photo: Pia Bretscher.

Pia Bretscher came to Tomsk from Switzerland where she works as a nursery teacher. This autumn she plans to change her job and decided to spend this summer fulfilling her childhood dream.

“I never had any rational reason to study Russian. But when I was a child I was given a nice atlas book as a gift and saw magnificent Russia surrounded by forests, - told Pia. There was also the Kremlin, ballet dancers, Trans-Siberian Railway and I realized that this country is interesting and I want to learn Russian which is a very beautiful language”.


Pia thinks that one of the most beautiful Russian words is “krylia” (the wings).


“I began to study Russian many years ago. When I graduated from a high school I learnt Russian in tandem, however didn’t progress too much. In Geneva I took a second attempt but didn’t achieve any considerable result either. I really believe that the best way to learn a language, and Russian in particular since it is a very complicated language, is together with a qualified teacher. One of my friends who was in Tomsk before recommended a Language School of Tomsk Polytechnic University and I really liked it. We have classes with very good teachers, participate in master classes and visit different places.”

Russian for engineers 

Photo: Carina Kubler. 

After completing her summer course at TPU Language School Carina Kubler that came to Tomsk from Germany will start her master course at TPU. She studies at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and came to Tomsk under the academic exchange program.

“Five years ago when I joined the university I became interested in Russian culture. I met many Russians living in Germany. I learnt more about their way of life, culture and language. I like a lot the Swan Lake ballet by Tchaikovsky. Then I attended various language courses where I met a person who was in Tomsk two years ago. He was excited by local citizens that were very friendly. And I also decided to come to Tomsk,” - said Carina.

Carina studies software design for electrical tools and after graduating from master courses she plans to take several internships for young specialists in world leading companies.

“I think that in the future German companies will collaborate more and more with the Russian ones, and this is where my Russian language knowledge might be useful”, - added Carina.

Her family is coming to Russia soon and all together they plan to visit Moscow and St-Petersburg and take a journey along Trans-Siberian Railway.

For reference:

TPU Russian Language Summer School is annually organized for international students. Any interested foreigner can take a three-week course, including an extensive cultural program which is arranged by the International Student Adaptation Office of TPU.

The Russian language course at the Summer School is quite intensive. Classes are held every day in the 19th building from 10:25 am to 2:00 pm, except Saturday and Sunday. The classes are conducted by highly qualified teachers of the Department of Russian as a Foreign Language. At first, the participants are interviewed in Russian and according to the interview results they are enrolled to groups with appropriate Russian language level. Within the Russian Language Summer School international students also attend a sightseeing tour around Tomsk, Tomsk Memorial NKVD Prison Museum, various master classes on decorating matryoshka dolls and Siberian traditional cuisine. They are also invited to visit Axe Feast in the Okolitsa village park, a hike to the Talovskie Tchashi, a tour to a hot spring in Chisty Yar, Narym Museum, etc.

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