Alumni Spotlight: Bob Reijnders


Comes from Denmark. Loves editing with Photoshop and after-effects.

Why did you choose this program?

I have chosen the program as I Iove Slav culture. I have been traveling through east Europe for quite a while, but I was never able to speak the language. Russian is spoken by millions of people and it is kind of cool to be able to communicate to them. I have also joined the internship program here to both enhance the level of Russian and my resume.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I only bought plane tickets to Russia. I also decided to rent a flat on my own, but they can provide accommodation as well. I’m staying in Russia for a much longer time than courses and I need to live in different places during it.

The school helped with the rest of my stay. I’m on a group course in Russian and the internship. The materials are provided by the school, they even gave me a pack of different things that included the branded notebook and a pen, so I didn’t need to bring anything, just come to school.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Try to make the most of your say here and don’t miss classes. Do all the homework so that you could really learn Russian. Ask teachers for help if you don’t understand something. My teacher really motivates; she is always eager to give advice.

It is very easy to be distracted from the studies as there are so many cool things in Saint Petersburg, but don’t forget that you have afternoons and off days for that!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

I wake up at 9 and come to classes at 10. After lessons, I go to Hermitage as I am on an internship there. We have different creative projects; right now I’m making illustrations. After the Hermitage, I often go for a walk or go home to do my homework. I’ve improved quite a bit now in Russian and I think it’s because I put much effort into it.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I have been abroad many times, but this time is a conscious decision to improve my skills and learn the Russian language. This experience helps me to improve my skills in the spheres I am interested in and it makes me proud.

After living among Russian people, I understand Russian culture and habits better, so I think it really changes me.

What would you be doing now if you weren’t on the program?

I would probably stay at home and do nothing or just work part-time. Of course, this is not what I want; that’s why I am here.

Travelling is always a leap to something different, something better in your life. I would never prefer a regular life to the ability to visit another country.