Russian for beginners at Oxford Watch

*~Joiedevivre~*
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#1
Report Thread starter 10 years ago
#1
Hello!

I was wondering if some of the people studying the russian for beginners course at Oxford could help me with a few questions.

I've read that the year abroad for Russian is in the second year - does this mean that you don't get to spend any time in the country for the other language you are studying, such as if you combine french and russian? And do you think it is better to have the year abroad in the second year rather than the third year or does it seem too early?

Also, are you enjoying the russian course? I am definitely interested in learning Russian and about the country and everything but I'm still a bit unsure!

Thanks for your help,

joiedevivre
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Yttrium
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#2
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Hey there!

I'm a russian ab initio student (with German) going into my fourth year. I love hearing from potential applicants so do feel free to PM me with more detailed questions if you've got any.

The year abroad is indeed spent in the second year - you go away for 8 months, from October to June, but that leaves the summer vacation (14 weeks) before and the summer vacation afterwards, some or all of which you can spend in the country where your other language is spoken. While that won't be enough time to do certain year abroad activities (e.g. becoming an assistant(e) in a school) it's more than enough time to get a little job, go on a language course, or just spend some time in the foreign country.

I think that going abroad in the second year, although it does feel quite a shame to be leaving oxford just as you were getting to know it (as it were) has some advantages - it means you get to see your friends when they're in their final year and spend that time together, rather than turning up at the start of the fourth year to find most of your year-group gone. Coming back in the third year gives you a long straight in the run-up to finals which I think can be an advantage, even though you can't get as much reading done in the year abroad as you might be able to if you had had it in the third year.

The Russian course is a really good one - the speed of learning is amazing; after just two years of language teaching I read things like Crime and Punishment in the original, my spoken Russian was excellent (it's probably not *quite* so good now!) - in short, the course is incredibly rewarding. Russian literature is breathtaking and very diverse. Russia as a country is as amazing as it is frustrating - and the year abroad taught me a lot about myself as a person.

I could go into much more detail but this'll probably do for the moment. Feel free to ask other things if you'd like, though.
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Sharlen
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I just want to say that if you need someone to practise your Russian with I can help you!

Yttrium, it's so nice to read such a good opinion about my country and our literature, thank you
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Stephanie08
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Yttrium... off-topic, but I'm fairly sure you ran the JCR tea on the first night of interviews... was that you?
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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#5
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(Original post by Yttrium)
Hey there!

I'm a russian ab initio student (with German) going into my fourth year. I love hearing from potential applicants so do feel free to PM me with more detailed questions if you've got any.

The year abroad is indeed spent in the second year - you go away for 8 months, from October to June, but that leaves the summer vacation (14 weeks) before and the summer vacation afterwards, some or all of which you can spend in the country where your other language is spoken. While that won't be enough time to do certain year abroad activities (e.g. becoming an assistant(e) in a school) it's more than enough time to get a little job, go on a language course, or just spend some time in the foreign country.

I think that going abroad in the second year, although it does feel quite a shame to be leaving oxford just as you were getting to know it (as it were) has some advantages - it means you get to see your friends when they're in their final year and spend that time together, rather than turning up at the start of the fourth year to find most of your year-group gone. Coming back in the third year gives you a long straight in the run-up to finals which I think can be an advantage, even though you can't get as much reading done in the year abroad as you might be able to if you had had it in the third year.

The Russian course is a really good one - the speed of learning is amazing; after just two years of language teaching I read things like Crime and Punishment in the original, my spoken Russian was excellent (it's probably not *quite* so good now!) - in short, the course is incredibly rewarding. Russian literature is breathtaking and very diverse. Russia as a country is as amazing as it is frustrating - and the year abroad taught me a lot about myself as a person.

I could go into much more detail but this'll probably do for the moment. Feel free to ask other things if you'd like, though.
Is it always spent in the second year? I'm living with a Classics & Russian student next year: she never mentioned she was disappearing! :eek:

Sorry to hijack the thread btw, am worried now!
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Yttrium
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#6
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Sharlen: Russia is wonderful, especially the people and the literature! I'm learning Bulgarian now, which is pretty exciting too, but Russian's still my pervaya lyubov'.

Stephanie: yup yup, that was me! (glad to see I was at least slightly memorable) Congratulations on getting in! If you've got any questions or just want to chat, feel free to PM me..

The_Lonely_Goatherd: Only ab initio russianists (i.e. those people who didn't study it at A-level or eqivalent) go abroad in their second year. You can only do Classics with a language that you've already taken to A-level, so your friend will go abroad in their third year. So there's no worries!
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