Published: 05.07.2021
I remember very well that June morning in 2004. I was standing on a railway station and felt thrilled about my very first 5 students coming to Russian Language School "Enjoy Russia".

Teachers, russian host families, and I, we all were really excited by their arrival!
And even now, after 13 years, I keep fond memories about Lenka from Check Republic, Stefani from Germany, Per from Denmark, John from USA and Eva from Sweden.

Preparation work was really well-done! First of all we were interested in providing our foreign students with Russian homestay! Even now I'm still convinced that communicating with native speakers – is the best way to learn the country, its traditions and culture! Warm care, long conversations while drinking hot tea with Russian blinis with raspberry jam, journeys to the country-house, collective friendly walks around the city – all this leads to the fast progress in learning the Russian Language and helps to avoid the cultural shock, that almost all our foreign students have while coming to Russia and especially if they are here for the first time.

First families who were involved in the program were selected among friends! We spent a lot of time with them while choosing the best places to sightsee with our foreign friends! Waterfall Kivach, Kizhi Island, Monasteries on Valaam island and Solovki, traditional Russian banya, picnic out of town with shashliki))) The list of activities was really huge, but the stay was only 4 weeks and we couldn't show everything to our guests! Finally, we made a really great job and after their stay, some students became true friends with their Russian host families. Eva from Swiss has been to Petrozavodsk several times after her first visit in 2004!

Best teachers of the Russian language as a foreign were invited to "Enjoy Russian": Olga Perova, Anastasya Zhigalina, Vera Egorova, Nonna Kotelents, and Larissa Perederij. Each student had their own course, made up according to his needs and wishes. While creating the School I was always focusing on using active methods of education and our 13 years history shows that it is the right way to follow! Active methods help students to progress quickly in learning the language! Students choose topics they need, teachers use games, unordinary tasks, workshops, they have lessons in cafes, in shops, in pharmacies.. everywhere where students can be involved in real Russian life! Today 30 highly qualified, creative, and experienced teachers work in Russian Language School "Enjoy Russian".

Many creative friendly active young volunteers helped me to organize that unforgettable program in summer 2004! Vova Polisalov, Tolya Semenov, Oksana Absatarova, Tanya Gurina … The very special point of our program is that after lessons we spend free time altogether – Russian volunteers and foreign students! We go out, have picnics, national food parties, we watch intercultural films together, we present our countries… a lot of exciting and useful activities to do! Our Russian Volunteers usually prepare them very well and foreign students never have time to feel bored or miss their home!

Some of first Russian volunteers left Petrozavodsk but we still continue our friendship and we love very much to reminisce that summer in 2004! The summer when the long story of Russian Language School "Enjoy Russian" has begun!

For 13 years we have taught Russian to more than 1200 students from all over the world! And we are always very pleased to get news and warm greetings from our Alumnus and to learn that their stays in Petrozavodsk made a great deal in their lives!
Head of the School

Natalia Pyantina

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