Japanese Exchange Student Discovers the Wonders of Studying in Russia

© Sputnik / Alexei Danichev / Go to the photo bankSaint Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg
Saint Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg - Sputnik International
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Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be an exchange student in Russia? Japanese student, Yudai Ri, shared his experience of studying in Saint Petersburg in an interview with Sputnik.

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Yudai Ri came to Russia last year to study languages. He spoke about his exciting year as an exchange student at Saint Petersburg State University.

One thing he was greatly surprised to see was how cheap some products and services were in Russia in comparison to Tokyo.

“In Russia the IT services are way better. It is almost as good as Japan, but there is Wi-Fi available in any café and the connection charges for smartphones start from 250 rubles a month (considerably cheaper than in Japan).”

“The prices of transportation and groceries are also cheaper, even if we are to keep in mind the earning difference between Russians and the Japanese,” Ri said.

Ri studies at Saint Petersburg State University, where his interests lie in studying languages. Previously he studied Russian language in Tokyo, but then he moved to Russia where he has been pursuing his studies for the past year. In addition, he has also taken up learning Tajik and Farsi, which according to him, was very difficult, but also interesting.

© Wikipedia / A.SavinTwelve Collegia building, St. Petersburg State University
Twelve Collegia building, St. Petersburg State University - Sputnik International
Twelve Collegia building, St. Petersburg State University

“Overall, studying in Russian universities is tough. In Japanese universities when studying rare languages, the lecturer allows the students some relaxation by allowing them to choose suitable timetables. But here teachers are strict and give a lot of homework,” Ri told Sputnik.

© Wikipedia / Wilson44691Hallway in the Twelve Collegia building, St. Petersburg State University: one of the longest academic hallways in the world
Hallway in the Twelve Collegia building, St. Petersburg State University: one of the longest academic hallways in the world - Sputnik International
Hallway in the Twelve Collegia building, St. Petersburg State University: one of the longest academic hallways in the world

He further said that the teachers in Russia try to raise awareness about how the student should be beneficial to his/her country and if the student doesn’t manage to do so, he can be expelled.

© Sputnik / Alexei Danichev / Go to the photo bankA class at the Higher School of Management, a new branch of the St. Petersburg State University
A class at the Higher School of Management, a new branch of the St. Petersburg State University - Sputnik International
A class at the Higher School of Management, a new branch of the St. Petersburg State University

Ri also managed to get his nose out of the books and experience Russian culture and build friendships.

© Sputnik / Igor Russak / Go to the photo bankYoung people pose for photographs by a Grand Cascade fountain on the opening day of fountains season at the Peterhof State Museum Reserve
Young people pose for photographs by a Grand Cascade fountain on the opening day of fountains season at the Peterhof State Museum Reserve - Sputnik International
Young people pose for photographs by a Grand Cascade fountain on the opening day of fountains season at the Peterhof State Museum Reserve

Talking about dating and gender expectations, Ri said that, Russians do not have the concept of formalizing the relationship between a girl and a boy when they start dating.

“In Japan we have a sort of tradition, we say to one another, ‘Let’s date?’- ‘Okay, sure!’ But Russians do not have that. It develops and  happens without any special procedure, I like that more!” Ri concluded.

Saint Petersburg is a popular city for international students as it is located on a breathtaking cusp of water that helped it earn the name “Venice of the North.”

© Flickr / ninaraHermitage, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, Russia - Sputnik International
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, Russia

“All the wonderful things you've ever heard about Russia; the large round domes that flare out like 17th Century dresses, the grand palaces, the beautiful snow falling across stark black sky known as 'the white lights' all apply to Saint Petersburg,” the website Study Abroad wrote.

This city, has also produced “father of American ballet” George Balanchine, it is here that Mikhail Baryshnikov began his renowned ballet career and where artist Marc Chagall perfected his craft. Hence, the city not only allows one to develop language skills but also provides for adventure and greater appreciation of Russian history and culture.

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