American students, that studied in Kazan, summer 2010, 2011, 2012:

Tom CING-MARS: I spent the summer of 2010 studying at the International Centre of Russian language studies that operates in conjunction with the Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities. There I was part of a two-month long program continuing to learn Russian and although I spoke Russian quite well at that point it should be mentioned that in the course of the next two months my Russian skills improved considerably thanks to my brilliant professors, my host family, and my Russian friends. I truly received a high-level education back there and classes and practice proved to be a perfect combination. In the day time I would be in class taking courses in language-related disciplines, and in the evening I would be out with my Russian friends, or hosts, practicing my Russian skills. I suggest that every American learning the Russian language should pick Kazan as a place to go.

Eva TRAST: ‘I really fell in love with the people in Kazan. True, they live in their own world, but that, I think, makes them have a unique soul – one that is cordial and kind. I like it that they never hesitate to give vent to their emotions in combination with the fact that their love and help are always sincere and genuine. The people in Russia, as well as in Kazan, are never afraid of bonding with each other and the ties of those relationships are seldom severed. I am glad that the professors from the International Centre of Russian language studies and, surely, my friends helped me to understand that. I will always cherish the Kazan summer of 2010‘.

Jane BLEVINS: ‘I fell in love with Kazan at first sight, just like that, as if there was no reason or logic in this act. I fell in love with all at once: the institute and the people, streets and buildings. I guess Russia is wrapped up in a certain mystery, one which cannot be unraveled but it makes one feel at home, one just has to sense it and accept it‘.

Seth JAEGER: ‘I would like to say that this summer that we have spent in Kazan was great in all respects and I do hope we get a chance to see each other again pretty soon!‘

Aric TOLER: ‘The CLS Program is better than I expected and I was told many good things about the program after receiving the scholarship. The teachers are excellent, I couldn’t be happier with my host family and my tutor, and I love Kazan. The homework load is not too heavy (despite the grumblings from many in the group) and I feel like I received an academic year’s worth instruction between the classes, homework, tutors and immersion‘.

Sean BODDEN: ‘The design, activities and resources offer many and varied opportunities to use and practice Russian. I also think there should be more integration of the courses (poetry reading in Phonetics, for instance). The combination of excursions and course work provides a wide scope and an enjoyable one‘.

Meagan DUNHAM: ‘I have had great experiences with this program and would recommend it to my friends who study Russian. The teachers are absolutely astounding – helpful, knowledgeable, inspiring. I’m also quite satisfied with the tutor aspect of the program. I imagined that we would mainly be studying together which we don’t, but I still consider conversations with my tutor very helpful in that I have made progress with my speaking skills thanks to her. All the program staff, including those who don’t teach, have been incredible. They really went out of their way to help me get through an extraordinary situation. My host family has been equally wonderful and have also helped me make progress with my language skills‘.

Bond FINSETH: ‘I am fully satisfied with the CLS program. It’s really great at getting students adapted to Russian culture, but like any study abroad program, you get out of it what you put in. I enjoyed how the focus was on oral communication – the focus in the US seems to be mainly reading and writing. The language partners and host families are a great way to get acclimated to the environment‘.

Carson FISH: ‘The CLS program in Kazan was a perfect introduction to Russia. It provided structure – so I didn’t feel like I was lost and floundering in a foreign city – but also gave me plenty of freedom to explore and learn independently. The pairing of language partners and host families created opportunities to learn constantly outside the classroom, and if a student-like myself didn’t click with the host family, the language partner provided a second chance to be involved and become friends with locals‘.


Students of London University, that studied in Kazan in different years:

Stuart HARGREVES:The year spent in Kazan with the help of the teaching team of the Centre has supplied me with such Russian language skills that I now happily work at the central UN office in New York. I’m truly convinced that Kazan is a perfect place to study Russian as well as ‘Russian mentality’ as it embraces in itself all the benefits of a big city and the features of Russian province with its open-heartedness, hospitality and sincere kindness of its people.’

Iris STEFAS: ‘The architecture of Kazan is simply wonderful. Especially the Kremlin, which lies next to the Kazanka river, is very beautiful. I also loved these old wooden houses with its various decorations’.

Melissa MAC DANIEL: ‘Life in Kazan was very good. I loved living in a family because my host mother prepared delicious food and helped me to adapt for the new environment. The lessons at the institute were very useful and interesting and improved my Russian immensely’.

Anna SEUBERT: ‘My life in Kazan was a row of different experiences and impressions, every single one being new and pleasant. In the city there are a lot of museums, one of them is fine arts museum. And what a great Concert hall they have! It is probably unique over for Europe and I remember listening to a brilliant orchestra performing Stravinsky and Prokofiev. The opera and ballet theater is equally beautiful’.

Nick PRYCE: ‘I sincerely recommend to go to Kazan to everyone who wants to get to know Russia more closely, who wants to take part in an excellent language program and who wants to spend his or her time in a very interesting place’.

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