Volunteer and learn Russian. Karolina’s story
There are lots of people that do volunteering work in their country, people who are happy to help others, for example, to help kids learning English, people, who want not only to travel or to improve their Russian in Russia, but really get into contact with Russian people. That’s why we have a special program in “Enjoy Russian” language school – “Russian and volunteering”. You volunteer at our summer camp for two weeks (as an English teacher for kids from 5 to 18) and get two weeks of free Russian course.
I asked our volunteer Karolina from Czech Republic a few questions about her experience in Petrozavodsk. And that’s what she said.
Me: How come you chose Petrozavodsk?
Karolina: I’ve been learning Russian for 2 years already and my main goal was to finally start speaking Russian. And I’m sure that the best way to put a foreign language into use is to come to a country of its origin and to be among native speakers. I was looking for different opportunities to come to Russia and I found the information about “Russian and volunteering” program in Petrozavodsk on my university’s website. My friend was here a year ago, so I heard about Petrozavodsk from him, so I thought “Why not?”.
Me: Was your experience here the same as you expected it to be?
Karolina: I didn’t think I would have to speak Russian so much. Just Russian! All the time! I thought that I will speak English with the kids that I’m going to teach. But I worked with 6-year-old children, and their English was not that good, so I spoke mostly in Russian. But actually it was really good for me, though some topics were quite hard to talk about, like “Superheros” or “Travelling and travellers”.
Me: To what kind of people you would recommend to come to Russia, Petrozavodsk to volunteer and learn Russian?
Karolina: Depends on what kind of age group you are going to work with. It’s definitely easier to work with teenagers, and you don’t have to know Russian that well, but if you want to improve your Russian speaking skills, working with kids is a good option. Of course the volunteers have to really want working with the kids. They must be patient and talkative, and friendly. Also, it’s a good way to earn yourself a Russian language course. It feels nice that you didn’t just pay for it, but you worked to get it.
Me: How would you assess your progress in Russian?
Karolina: The biggest progress is in understanding of spoken Russian. When I’ve just come here, I couldn’t understand almost anything, but now – a lot! I am not afrain of speking in Russian anymore. I know that I can solve any communication problem in Russian, like if I get lost, I know that I can talk to people around and make myself understood and understand what they are saying back to me.
Me: What’s the most vivid impression you have after this month in Petrozavosk?
Karolina: Banya (Russian bath). I just loved it. People. Strangers in the street were always very helpful and nice to me if I had to ask them something. All the people I’ve met here were all really nice. And my Russian hostess. She is like a second mom to me. I’ll really miss my life here, and hope I’ll come again sometime.
If you want to volunteer and learn Russian apply here!
education coordinator of “Enjoy Russian” language school