It has been more than two months since I arrived in Russia for my year abroad program together with 7 other students from the University of Ghana. We arrived in Moscow on 17th November 2019 and took a train from Moscow to Belgorod, arriving the next day.
The train ride of about 8 hours was actually a nice experience. I had my first proper sleep since I started my journey from Ghana on 16th November, 2019. I went with Egypt Air, had a transit through Cairo before arriving at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow.
The first thing that hit me when I got to Belgorod was the cold weather. It was 0°C. Freezing temperature. Although I had my winter coat on, I was not feeling alright. I could not breathe properly, my eyes were watery and my fingers were freezing. I knew I had to brace myself in order to survive.
Weeks on, I can say with confidence that I’ve adjusted to the weather. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel the cold but then I know how to keep myself warm enough to go about my day.
Talk about classes, I would say it has been very exciting. I am a University of Ghana student studying Information Studies and Russian Language.
I’m in Russia, specifically Belgorod State Technological University for a year abroad program to study the Russian language.I am in a class of 10 students; 8 are from Ghana, 1 from Nigeria and another from Iran.
My lecturers are very kind and interesting. They help us in whatever way we may need assistance. We usually do fun activities in class such as acting short dramas, singing, dancing, debates and others.
Some few things I have noticed here is that their laws work. Especially the ones concerning pedestrians. I have moved around and seen a few interesting places such as the city centre, city mall and a few other places. There are still a lot more sites I would like to explore after winter.
I have encountered a number of challenges in my short stay already. Some of them have been resolved at this point but the major challenge still remains. That major challenge is; achieving my prime aim of going for a year abroad. I came to Russia with the foremost aim of improving my fluency in the Russian language to reach that of how I speak English. However, progress has been slow. I am currently exploring new ways that will be helpful and exciting to attain a quicker progress. Another challenge is also keeping in touch with my friends and family in Ghana and performing the duties required as a Kufuor Scholar. Time difference and distance has limited the duties I can perform but I still try to stay in touch to do the needful.
In conclusion, I would like to say Russia is an interesting place to live in. The people are quite kind in contrast to what others think of them, but of course, there may be a few bad nuts. The weather is cold but when it snows, it is really exciting and beautiful. Life is relatively cheaper here, especially transportation and food. Thus far, I think I am adjusting quite well.
By Dorcas Clement
Member, Kufuor Scholars Program Class of 2020