Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Student assistant absorbs Russian studies and culture

Student assistant Heather Bieber, who is spending the semester in Yakutsk, Russia, sent this report:

I have had some really great  experiences in Russia. I have given presentations about Alaska to school kids, traveled to a Yakutian village, taught some English to locals, been to some great museums and historical sites and more! Some foreign students and I were asked to do an interview for the local TV station and newspaper. That was a great experience.

Heather Bieber conducts a frozen shirt experiment in Yakutsk.
Monday through Friday I go to my lessons, from the morning to the afternoon. I have an intensive Russian grammar class for three hours every day. Afterward, I study Russian culture - Russian history, politics and literature. It's such a great experience to learn about Russia in the home country. The teachers do not speak English, so it is a great immersion opportunity.

As far as free time, my friends and I go to the movie theater, visit shops, cook a Russian dinner, walk around Lenin Center and teach each other new languages. Interestingly, all the foreign exchange students live in the same dormitory, so on my floor we have Korean, Chinese, Mongolian, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Finnish, Austrian, German, Japanese, Turkish (and more) students. I have met one American who lives here with his family. He is a student and a teacher, a really nice guy.

Heather Bieber and friend at a Russian museum.

One of the classrooms where Heather Bieber gave a presentation about Alaska.

Heather Bieber at her favorite restaurant, the Russian Pancake House.

Heather Bieber imitates a statue of Russian statesman Maksim Kirovich Ammosov.

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