Russian Studies

Author: Jonathan Baud

Applied in: Winter 2013

University Offers: UCL, Exeter, Bristol, Bath, Edinburgh

In my eyes, to learn a foreign language is the most powerful tool to broaden one's mind. This is why I have been studying French, English and Spanish at school. To consolidate what I learnt, I joined an online community called "Interpals", which enabled me to meet many new people from all over the world. My main objective was to meet English speakers, in order to improve my knowledge of the language. However, A year ago, I developed a strong interest for Russia, specifically its history and its language. Through Interpals I began interacting with young people from all over Russia. We wrote letters, and told each other a lot about our countries. In October, I visited a friend in Syktyvkar and its nearby countryside, located in the Komi Republic. I completed the visa procedure by myself and took three different planes to travel to this somewhat remote city. I was warmly welcomed into their home by her family, and for a few weeks, I discovered their traditions, culture, and way of life. This was the best time of my life, and since the experience, I have realized I must make the most my language skills and learning abilities. These travels on my own have made me more mature, independent and organised. Intercultural exchanges are to me a great way to broaden my vision of the world.

I have since planned and booked another trip to Moscow and Syktyvkar during the New Year. I believe I will get a true and accurate vision of the Russian Federation by staying in its capital and then travelling back to the quieter city of Syktyvkar. World organisation has always been a great source of curiosity to me. I visited the European Parliament in Brussels and have attended debates in the House of Lords and the House of Commons in Parliament.

During my school career in France I was awarded the Bourse d'Excellence, which means I was given the opportunity to move to London and study at the "Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle". I am completing my studies in the French system whilst living with an English host family. This is a unique experience, which teaches me how to be responsible, organised and independent. In France I have used my intellectual skills in some national competitions such as the prestigious "Concours general" in History. In addition to my studies, I enjoy competing in sports to a high standard: I have participated in several interregional swimming events in France, and took part in the French youth triathlon championships two years ago. I also play team sports such as volleyball and have recently taken up kickboxing.

I am inspired by Russian culture and its speed of progress over the past two decades. In this ever integrated world, Russia has shown how it can overcome the obstacles of its immense size and endeavour to link, not only its population of 143 million, but also itself to the most forward thinking countries of the world. Being part of the BRIC countries shows Russia's will to push onwards and improve relations with the rest of the world. It is for these reasons that I believe creating yet more links with Europe, and beyond, will provide endless opportunities and means Russia will be a highly interesting place to live and work in the near future. Outside of my current class schedule I am sitting in supplementary Russian classes with people who started to learn it five years ago. Everyday, I teach myself more Russian through books. My friend, who is a native Russian, helps me in my project. I take a lot of pleasure in learning this beautiful language with its Cyrillic alphabet, and I am very sensitive to the musicality of the Russian language and its intonation glides.

To study the Russian language and experience life in your university would be a great honour to me, and I look forward to deepening my knowledge of this wonderful language.

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