Re: Russia stuff. I certainly intend to play down the whole 'being a sexual deviant who's on the road to Hell' thing in Russia - I'm living with a Russian family (or possibly just a babushka) and I'm thinking that they/she will probably have quite conservative and probably quite religious views - so I don't know whether it's something I'm going to be able to be open about or not. Still, there are other Oxford people going on the trip and, I think, some people from other unis that we might be able to socialise with so there are some potential chances for some kind of relationship there... I don't think I'd really consider entering into a relationship with a Russian as it'd be a) possibly dangerous (high levels of STDs, including AIDS, which is rife in Russia) and b) heart-wrenching when I had to leave...
So the general plan is to play it a bit by ear but probably to keep myself much more to myself than I have been doing at Oxford. Figuratively speaking.
Patrick: Hehe - being in an all-male dorm *is* a tricky situation - I went to Berlin with a group of people from Oxford arranged by our Lektorin and we slept in single-sex rooms of 6... not the ideal place to introduce yourself as a gay man... But, in the end, one of the other guys was bi and another one I'm almost certain is gay and the whole thing wasn't an issue. That's kind of a microcosm of what Oxford's like... perhaps it's just us linguists but out of the guys on that trip, 2 were gay, 3 were bi and 2 were straight, plus the one who nobody's quite sure about... It does, of course, vary from college to college and subject to subject (and for guys, languages are one of the more queer choices...out of the 6 male linguists in my year at my college - Magdalen -, 3 are gay...) Mind you, Magdalen *is* a bit that-way-inclined.