So, I leave for Russia in two days. I’m sitting here in my kitchen thinking, this must be the calm before the storm, might as well start a blog.
Firstly, I should explain a little bit of why I chose to go to Russia. Aside from the having a tendency to make friends with Russians and Russian language speakers, Russian is becoming an important language in international affairs, which is an area of interest to me. I also think that picking up a new language is good, simply for life enrichment. For a political junkie such as myself, I’d be lying if I denied that I wasn’t excited to be there during the Prime Ministerial election this coming March.
While it sounds relatively easy to pick up and go to Russia, there is a process. It took lots of planning, which for me began four months ago, after chickening out of going to college. I began to research Russian language schools, and assessed the benefits of them all, i.e. the costs, whether or not they provide visa support (you need a visa to enter the country) and help with finding a place to stay. After being admitted to the school, documents then need to be gathered, including a letter of invitation, an HIV test certificate, a money order, and pictures, in order to submit an application for a visa. It took about a month for the letter of invitation to arrive, and it can take 10 to 14 business days for the HIV test to arrive -hence the need to plan way ahead of time.
I have the visa, the flight is booked, and in two days I depart for Moscow. I will be greeted at the airport and met in my flat by roommates and a representative from the school. I’m definitely looking forward to this new place and culture that awaits me. I also look forward to working hard to do what I am there to do: learn the language.