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    So, I'm currently looking into Russia for my year abroad next year (it's compulsory as I'm ab initio), and I was hoping someone would be able to help me out with experiences/preferences/advice. My current options are between Yaroslavl Language Centre and HSE Moscow, although if anyone has any other places that they'd recommend i'll be more than grateful!
    I just want to know if there are any major cons to either one, and just which one would be better because I honestly cannot choose at the moment! 😊
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    (Original post by nerdyapple)
    So, I'm currently looking into Russia for my year abroad next year (it's compulsory as I'm ab initio), and I was hoping someone would be able to help me out with experiences/preferences/advice. My current options are between Yaroslavl Language Centre and HSE Moscow, although if anyone has any other places that they'd recommend i'll be more than grateful!
    I just want to know if there are any major cons to either one, and just which one would be better because I honestly cannot choose at the moment! 😊
    Is it possible to spend one term in Yaroslavl and one term in Moscow? I remember a student of Russian telling me that their uni advised students not to spend their whole year in Moscow/Petersburg, and getting out into the regions can be very helpful for your language skills.
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    That would solve all my problems! Unfortunately the Uni in Moscow will only accept year long placements, hence my current dilemma... im not particularly sold on the whole splitting the year idea anyway because I feel like once i’ve settled in one place and made friends etc. I’d have to move and start from scratch all over again...
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    (Original post by nerdyapple)
    So, I'm currently looking into Russia for my year abroad next year (it's compulsory as I'm ab initio), and I was hoping someone would be able to help me out with experiences/preferences/advice. My current options are between Yaroslavl Language Centre and HSE Moscow, although if anyone has any other places that they'd recommend i'll be more than grateful!
    I just want to know if there are any major cons to either one, and just which one would be better because I honestly cannot choose at the moment! 😊
    Not sure if this is still useful for you, but I thought I'd answer anyway. If you are going to Russia to actually learn the language and not just because it's cool, then I'd definitely go for Yaroslavl. (Or any other city apart from Moscow and St.P. for that matter.) The reason I'm saying this is that Moscow and St.P. are amazing places to visit, but you'll pretty much speak English everywhere outside of school. Russians in the Western cities very much like foreign people and also are very keen on improving their English. So unless you're already fluent in Russian, you'll have a hard time making them speak to you in Russian. Moscow people are also not as open as in other cities and not as friendly, so you'd have much better chances at making Russian friends in other Russian cities. (Of course, I'm not saying that it's impossible to make Russian friends in Moscow, it's just a lot harder and you really have to go out of your way to meet them.)
    I have friends who spent a year in Yaroslavl (and one is there now) and they really loved it, no to mention in comparison to people who spent their YA in one of the big Western cities the language difference at the end of the year is obvious. In our year we also had many people in Siberia, and all lecturers back at uni said that their Russian was a lot better, not just confidence wise, but also pronunciation and vocab wise. Going to one of the smaller, less touristy places, you'll actually have a chance to get to know Russians and their lifestyle, practice your language and make friends and if you like Moscow you can always visit on the weekends or in the breaks. As Russians say: Москва - это не Россия.
 
 
 
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