I am studying international business relations, and in the course of our studies, we have the opportunity to do an internship abroad in the fifth semester. Furthermore, I am learning Russian, so I chose Russia for my internship to learn more about the culture there, and of course to improve my Russian skills.
Why did you choose Liden & Denz?
A good friend of mine told me about the Liden & Denz company, because she is also from my university and she did an internship there as a social media and editorial assistant in 2015.
I wrote many application letters to Russia, and even Kazakhstan, but it's very hard to find an internship there as foreigner. Almost nobody answered and the visa regulations make it even more difficult. I was really frustrated and then FINALLY I got the acceptance from Liden & Denz. I could choose between Moscow and St. Petersburg. It wasn't hard for me to choose because I had already been to Moscow this year in July and I wanted to see a new city.
What was your favorite part about St. Petersburg?
It's hard to say because there are many things I liked about St. Petersburg. But I think that my favorite part is the hospitality of all Russian people. I feel very comfortable here and everybody tries to help you, even if you hardly speak any Russian. Furthermore, there are many excellent restaurants and cafés in the city: so many it is very hard to decide where to go!
What made your experience abroad unique?
I made so many new friends from all over the world. That's what I really liked best about my stay. I got new friends from Italy, Switzerland, England, America, Colombia, and so on: that's unique. Of course, my Russian got better too. You can't compare studying Russian at university and living in the country for a while. You rapidly improve your skills there, because you are confronted with the Russian language in all situations.
How did local staff support you throughout your program?
They supported us in that we could ask them at any time if any questions came up. They are very friendly and helpful and we can use the VIP coffee card to get cheaper coffee in the lobby on the ground floor. I know that they can help with finding the right accommodation too. You can choose between hostels, hotels, and host families. I personally wanted a flat on my own.
What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?
I don’t know! I am happy that I chose this amazing city for my internship abroad. The time flies by quickly and I met so many great people there.
Describe a typical day in the life of your program.
On a typical day I would wake up around 8 a.m., take a shower, and have breakfast. Everyday at 10 a.m. my Russian language would start, running until 1:40 p.m. Then we would have a break and I usually go for lunch at a nice restaurant with my colleagues from class.
At 2:30 p.m. my internship would start and I would work on blogs. Around 5 p.m. I would take the bus back home. In the evenings I would often go to the gym, which is next to my flat, or I meet some friends for a drink in the city. I can’t complain about life there!
What did you enjoy doing in your free time?
Saint Petersburg has many possibilities for filling in your free time. You can visit one of many famous museums, such as the Russian Museum or the Hermitage. Or take a boat trip across the canals and Neva River.
In my free time, I would always do completely different things. I would visit one of the many famous sights, like St. Isaac Cathedral or the Peter and Paul Fortress. On other days I would just do some shopping in one of the big shopping malls of Saint Petersburg if the weather is bad - It's amazing. I never get bored!
What was your accommodation like? What did you like best about it?
I was searching for a flat on my own and I found a nice one on Airbnb. I loved my huge flat because it was located directly on Nevsky Prospect, close to a metro station, and everything was close. I only had to travel about 10 minutes by bus to Liden & Denz.
What is one thing every participant should know before participating in your program?
You should love to write blogs and must be able to find the right words to attract many people with it. It's not easy to find an interesting topic for every day, but keep going.
Now that you're home, how has your program abroad impacted your life?
At home I still live together with my parents, my younger brother, and my cat Charly, and I think that I really learned to live more independently. That will help me in my future for sure. I became more responsible and that's very important. I will help my mother now much more in the household.
Would you recommend Liden & Denz to others? Why?
Definitely, I think Liden & Denz is one of the best languages schools around the world to improve your Russian skills. You can choose between Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Riga. For some people it's not possible to travel all the way to Russia, so they can do private lessons online.
Daniela Danzinger, 22, lives close to Austria’s capital, Vienna. She is studying international business relations, with a specialization in marketing and sales, at the University of Applied Sciences in Eisenstadt.