Здравствуйте! Меня зовут Кайла. Очень приятно и добро пожаловать в мой блог! I’m very excited to share all of my upcoming experiences here on this blog for the next five months. I was born and raised in Wisconsin and have attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the past three years. These next few months I will be living in St. Petersburg, Russia with a host family, and I will be studying advanced language courses along with 70-some other students from around the United States. I am so excited to have this opportunity to learn more about the Russian language, culture, and cuisine. {Mmmmmm, blinis.} I’ll also be studying 19th century Russian literature as well as the geopolitical relationship between Russia and the United States.

First off, let me answer my most frequently asked question: “Why did you decide to study Russian?” Well, let me start  by saying that Russian is not the first language I’ve studied. I had studied Spanish from 7th grade until my freshman year of college but, unfortunately, never really enjoyed it. Nevertheless, I wanted to make sure I managed to get the two-semester language requirement for my degree to graduate first before I attempted anything new. I decided to study Russian the following year for a number of reasons. For starters, I’ve always felt that the Russian language has this air of mystery about it. There aren’t many people, other than native Russians, with the ability to speak it (and even they admit it is difficult to master). I find it to be so much more descriptive and expressive than English. There are Russian words that cannot even be translated over to the English language! Even more motivating was that Russian is on the critically needed languages for our government. My dream job has always been to work in the intelligence community, and once I started studying Russian I realized exactly the career I wanted to apply for. My hope is that this experience abroad with advance me to the next level of fluency and provide more job opportunities than before. Despite its difficulty, I really enjoy studying the language. I’ve always loved a good challenge. My Russian isn’t even near perfect and I get very intimidated speaking with fluent speakers or natives, but I’m hoping that I will be able to move past that fear by the end of December!

Wish me luck!! (Just say “Желаю тебе удачи!” or “zhe-lie-yoo teh-byey oo-duh-chi”.)



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