Kanangalage Nadeesha Madhubhashani
Bachelor’s Studies in Russian Language, 1 year
"My biggest dream was to visit Russia"
– Why did you decide to apply to Russia?
– When I was a little girl, I came across books written by Russian authors. That was when my love with Russia began. It was my biggest dream at that time - to visit Russia and experience the famous Russian soul. So I started learning Russian at school in Sri Lanka. I felt I needed a lot of practice to really start speaking and understanding Russian. It’s such a difficult language to master! Anyway, I wanted to practice my Russian and what might be a better place to do that than in Russia? So I decided to apply to a Russian university.
– Why did you choose SUSU?
– At school I had some teachers who’d studied in Chelyabinsk. They then returned to Sri Lanka to teach students Russian. In Chelyabinsk, they’d studied at SUSU so they recommended the University to me. I’ve decided to jump at the chance and apply to SUSU. My teachers helped me with the application so it wasn’t that difficult to apply. My parents were so happy and proud of me. In my country not many people get a chance to study abroad so my study in Russia was very important to my family.
– What do you think about the overall experience?
– It’s very cold here and I was shocked when I first saw snow. I got used to the weather pretty quickly though. They celebrate the New Year so beautifully here! Chelyabinsk is magical during the winter holiday season with its piles of snow, sparkling window shops and people’s expectations of the miracle. The food here seemed strange at first but I like it now. The Russians like eating well. I don’t see students eating crisps or drinking coke all the time. Although, many Russian students eat pastries and stuff. Russia is a totally different country from mine, but it’s a wonderful experience. I’m happy I’m being part of all this stuff now.
– Are the people friendly?
– Most of them are. Russian people are believed to be reserved and cold. To some extent, I agree with this. Of course you can meet unfriendly guys here. But it’s part of any place in the world. I’ve met really wonderful people here, smart, sociable, and funny. And my SUSU teacher is such a person. She is so kind, I love her.
– Is the local area nice?
– Chelyabinsk is an industrial city, so be prepared to see some plants here. In Sri Lanka we have more trees of course. Despite that, Chelyabinsk is a beautiful city, especially at night. Although I miss my city sometimes, I like living in Chelyabinsk too. There are so many places you can go have fun here. I like Kirovka a lot (i.e. Kirova Street). They have a lot of shops and clubs there. And in the evenings people stroll along the street and relax...it’s a cool place!
– How happy are you at SUSU?
– I love this university. My experience here has been incredible so far. I’ve learned the Russian culture and made new friends. I feel more mature and experienced. Most importantly, I’ve managed to improve my Russian. I’d like to thank all my teachers for their incredible support and patience with me. Without them, I would’ve never started speaking Russian. After my studies, I’m planning to go back to Sri Lanka and start working there. I’d like to teach Russian at school or a university. I will definitely visit Chelyabinsk in the future.
– Any advice for other international students?
– Come and study here! Russia is a wonderful country. And the language is so beautiful! South Ural State University welcomes any student from any part of the world. Please don’t believe that Russia is all gloomy and depressing. It’s not true! Yes, you will be homesick; yes, it’ll be difficult to get used to one of the most difficult languages in the world. But in the end you get really good friends and one of the best experiences of your life. My advice is grab your warm coat and seize the opportunity to study here!