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Skriven av Jonathan P. ()
i juli 2016
Work and Study at the Derzhavin Institute
At the time of writing I am currently one month into my three month stay at the Derzhavin Institute. It's not my first time here; last year, in 2015, I studied at Derzhavin for 2 weeks during the summer. The course was then, as it is now, absolutely fantastic. The Institute is fairly small in comparison to large universities like SpbGU, but this means that class sizes are also smaller and the lessons themselves leave more opportunities for individual questions and feedback.
The teaching staff are excellent. A real effort is made to make lessons and their topics interesting and engaging. Beyond that, even though lessons are taught exclusively in Russian, the teachers go to great lengths to explain things and to ensure that everyone understands everything, so hardly anyone ever feels out of their depth.
The administrative staff are just as good as the academic staff. They are very open to questions and reply quickly when it comes to communicating via email. They were a great help to me when it came to navigating the visa application process both times I visited the institute. Although I have not personally used the Institute's accommodation services (I booked my own accommodation separately) I have heard nothing but good things about them. Those students I know of that have had any problems at all (for example, slow running Internet or noisy neighbours) have all mentioned how quickly these problems were resolved.
The staff do not simply perform their jobs well however, they are also, every one of them, a pleasure to be around. They are all incredibly friendly and easy to speak to regardless of whether you want to speak about your course, about Russian language, about the city or just to have a chat. It is a rare thing indeed to find anyone who isn't in a good mood at Derzhavin and its hard not to enjoy studying in that kind of environment.
Another selling point of the Derzhavin Institute lies in its weekly programs of excursions and events. Every week the Institute offers a variety of different activities and trips for students. Some cost extra (although the amount you pay is often less than you would pay if you organised the same trip independently) but many are free. These include; tours around the city; painting, cooking and singing lessons; trips to famous sights such as Peterhof Palace and Tsarskoe Selo; visits to the theatre and even weekend breaks in Moscow.
Despite the high quality of teaching and social events, the Derzhavin Institute is very reasonable in terms of price. When I first decided to look for language courses in Russia I looked through a number of different alternatives but found Derzhavin's prices to be amongst the most competitive. In fact the prices were so good that I was even somewhat sceptical before I arrived for my course the first time, the school however, exceeded all expectations, hence why I decided to return so soon after my first course.
My current course is a work/study course. I have normal lessons from 9:30am until 1pm and work as an intern from 2pm until 6pm. If you are looking for a longer term course I can't recommend this option enough. My course lasts three months and my work pays for my course fees, so it's a much cheaper option than paying for a normal three month course. At the same time my work gives me many opportunities to practice Russian outside of class. Firstly example I speak with other staff members in Russian as well as writing articles for the school in Russian.
All in all the work/study course is a fantastic, but affordable way to really immerse yourself in your language learning.
Finally, something needs to be said about the schools location, St Petersburg. Much can read about this city, its many different attractions and its cultural and architectural splendour so I'll keep my contribution short. Simply put, St Petersburg is a truly beautiful city. It doesn't matter whether your interest in Russian language is driven by interest in Russian literature, culture, history, or simply an interest in the Russian people, or find no shortage of locations, events and opportunities to inspire you here.
If you are considering studying Russian in Russia, I seriously suggest you take a look at the Derzhavin institute it will be well worth your time.
Skriven av Stephen S. (San Fransisco - USA)
i juli 2015 - USA
An excellent languae school for short term study
I stayed at the Institute for a month, taking part in their work study programme, and staying with a host family found through the institute. Overall I was very surprised and impressed with the quality of the teaching and the helpfulness its professors and coordinators. They provided immense help with the nightmarish Russian bureaucracy involved with getting into and staying in Russia, while very promptly and professionally responding to questions regarding the process.
The courses themselves were more or less exactly what I was looking for. They are taught entirely in Russian even from the lower levels and improved one’s overall language ability far more quickly than I can imagine would be possible with an intermediary language. There was a fair amount of coursework most of which was more or less helpful. Almost all of the work comes from the exercise book and (the only one required for the course) that students receive upon arrival based upon their level. It was monolingual clear and well written.
The institute’s excursions seemed quite extensive and well thought out, if for the most part in English. I did not take part in many of them due to time constraints imposed by the work study programme, but heard many good things about them, and saw postings for things like rooftop tours, museums, and kvas brewing which piqued my interest.
I believe that in order to make the most of any language programme one needs to speak entirely in the target language. Obviously doing so outside of class that requires some degree of self discipline when French, English, Italian, and Turkish are spoke widely by the student body outside of classes. It is possible, however, with some degree of stubbournness to achieve a more or less immersive environment.
The host family programme from my experience seems excellent and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone weighing their options in terms of accommodations. It was quite reasonably priced given its central location (where I understand the majority of the apartments are situated) and my host family was incredibly helpful, understanding, and kind. They also helped me with my Russian a great deal around the breakfast table and evening tea.
The Derzhavin Institute offers an excellent part time programme and an all around good Petersburg experience for a reasonable price with a flexible schedule and enrollment times. I would especially recommend it to serious students of the language looking for an effective short term way to make progress and gain greater command and understanding of the spoken language perhaps unavailable in their native counties.
Skriven av Stefano P. (Bologna - Italy)
i maj 2015 - Italy
A Perfect Place to Study Russian
Il Derzhavin Institute e' assolutamente la migliore scuola di russo presente in San Pietroburgo. I docenti sono cordiali, disponibili e altamente qualificati. L'ambiente amichevole aiuta ad ottenere il massimo profitto dallo studio. Per qualsiasi dubbio problema e richiesta puoi rivolgerti al personale amministrativo che e' sempre pronto ad aiutarti. Spero di tornarci presto.
Skriven av Mathilde C. (Saint Petersburg - Russia)
i juli 2014 - Russia
L'institut Derzhavin est une très bonne école super bien située au cœur de la ville. L'accueil est génial, tout est pris en charge et les professeurs sont très compétents. Que du positif sur cette école tant sur l'aspect pédagogique que fonctionnel. J'ai passé un super séjour à Saint Pétersbourg et j'étais très bien entourée, par l'équipe de Derzhavin et grâce aux rencontres faites a l'institut de nombreux étudiants étrangers venant du monde entier.
Skriven av Martina M. (Italy)
i augusti 2013 - Italy
I've studied and worked at Derzhavin Institute from the beginning of August till the end of September. I chose the "Work and Study" program, according to which I had free lessons in the morning, in exchange for a non-paid internship in the afternoon. The school provided me with all the studying materials and there were also free tea and coffee in the communal area. Lessons were very well-organised and never boring, as the teachers really worry about getting you involved. They are also always ready to help even if you need some further information about the city. As for my internship, I really enjoyed helping the school and, at the same time, gain little work experience. What's most important about the organization, you don't have to wait before receiving an e-mail from the school confirming your booking. In particular, Helena has always been very helpful. There are really no reasons for not choosing this school.
Skriven av Pierre L. (Brest - France)
i mars 2013 - France
Je viens de passer 6 mois au sein de l'Institut Derzhavin et le résultat à très largement dépassé mes attentes! J'avais besoin d'avoir quelques bases de russe pour le travail et voilà qu'après six mois, j'arrive à dire vraiment tout ce que je veux exprimer. Bien entendu, avec encore des fautes de grammaire et un vocabulaire qui demande à reste à approfondir, mais je suis épaté!
D'habitude, je ne passe pas beaucoup de temps à commenter mes expériences sur Internet de cette façon mais l'Institut Derzhavin et l'ensemble de son personnel, méritent vraiment que l'on s'attarde sur leur cas.
L'Institut est situé dans le centre historique de Saint-Pétersbourg. C'est idéal pour les transports et il est proche de toutes commodités (magasins, restaurants, cafés, banques, etc.)
Le personnel est très proche des étudiants. L'ambiance est très familiale et les groupes sont très restreints (entre 2 et 5 étudiants la plupart du temps), c'est la garantie d'une progression rapide et de programmes presque personnalisés pour chaque étudiant.
Pour ce qui est du prix, là encore, les offres sont très intéressantes. Il y a une diversités de programmes proposés et donc des prix différents pour que tout le monde s'y retrouve.
Enfin, la qualité des professeurs est, je pense, le secret de leur réussite. J'ai passé 6 mois avec une professeur extraordinaire. Patiente, très cultivée, très appliquée et dotée d'une expérience lui permettant de répondre à toutes les interrogations possibles sur la langue russe et ce, dans bon nombre de langues étrangères. Elle parlait un français parfait et croyez moi, au début, ça n'est pas inutile!
Bref, vous l'aurez compris, je vous recommande vivement cet Institut pour les raisons citées et bien d'autres encore! Ce fut une expérience inoubliable!
Skriven av Alberto G. ()
i mars 2011
Afterm my stay in Saint-Peterburgh and lessons at Derzhvin my skills improved a lot! Everything in Derzhavin is perfect, teachers are highly skilled, plenty of cultural activities are organized, welcoming and management for students is unforgettable.
Whatever the reason of learning Russian might be, Derzhavin is the place to be!
Skriven av Ece O. (Turkey)
i mars 2011 - Turkey
I completed a 4 weeks Russian language course at Derzhavin Institute.Professional teachers are very helpful and they show you every day how to easy learn and practice the Russian language. You’ll learn fast, because you hear Russian language all the time in the school and you have to use the language :) I will return to Russia to study here again. I would recommend this school to anyone who seriously want to learn Russian .
Skriven av Matteo p. M. (vada - Italy)
i augusti 2010 - Italy
i took, for the first time, lessons in russia and it was fantastic thanks to derzhavin!because there are very good teacher and administration,because they organise tour,excursion and other to see the city or just to have a good time all together!for the accomodations you have different choises with different prices(the accomodations aren' expansive) and they can organize transfer.
Skriven av Isabella M. (Graz - Austria)
i augusti 2010 - Austria
It's already my second time at Derzhavin Institute and again I am absolutely satisfied with the Russian classes and the whole administration! Teachers are highly skilled and always aim to meet the individual aims and target of each student! Moreover the whole team is very supportive and kind and helps to sort out each of your problems and inconveniences! I highly recommend Derzhavin Instutute!
Skriven av Myrna D. (Glendale - USA)
i augusti 2009 - USA
I took individual Russian courses at Derzhavin Institute over the summer in 2008. The classes were extremely useful, because they were tailored specifically toward my language goals and interests. The school isn't too big, so you get lots of individual attention. Also, the prices are very reasonable with several affordable options for accommodation. As someone who has studied abroad in Russia at three different institutions, my number one pick would be Derzhavin!