Estonia

Hello all,

I am really enjoying this Russian program here in Narva. This is by far the most effective language course that I have been apart of. I like how the program here has a even focus on every aspect of learning a new language — reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The previous language programs that I have taken have mostly only had a focus on reading and writing, which are of course important skills, but are not entirely practical when being thrown into a new country and being expected to converse with people. I also really enjoy the cultural aspects of the program through watching films, going on excursions, and so on. We also get freedom to travel where we want to on our free weekends. Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to Helsinki with a small group in our program. We spent the Friday night in Tallinn, which I always enjoy because Tallinn is a very beautiful city. The old town of Tallinn kind of reminds me of Prague. I really enjoyed going out with our group and traveling around old town and exploring the old streets. Saturday morning we got up early for our ferry to Helsinki. It was the first time that I was on a boat (other than a sail boat) and it was a fun experience. We got to Helsinki in just 2 hours and we went off and explored the city. The city center is a lot different than the old town of Tallinn and has its own unique style. I thought it was a very nice city. That weekend was a large gymnastic tournament and there were groups of teenagers from what it seemed as every country from Europe. So while we were walking in the market we ran into a group of Czechs and Slovaks (I used to live to Slovak/Czech republic and my wife is Slovak) and one of the ladies grew up in the same village that my wife grew up in. It was fun to see that my Slovak interfering with my Russian has now changed to my Russian interfering with my Slovak. Afterwards a few people in our group went on a walking tour of the city while Jordan and I went to the war museum, which was very interesting to see. We then did some more sightseeing and then in the evening took the ferry back to Tallinn and then the night bus back to Narva. Overall it was great to have the opportunity to cross another country off the list. Thanks for reading!

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