Still Settling In

Over the last two weeks I have been learning about Volzhsky and how classes are taught at my home institute.

Volzhsky is a young city, which prides itself for being green because of its successful cleanup campaigns and its many planted trees. I am told that most trees here would dry up naturally on the arid steppes if they were not watered and cared for by the city. Still, the city also boasts several factories that produce plastics, chemicals and pipes. I am currently living in one of the nicest and oldest parts of the city with my host family in a “Stalinesque” designed apartment building.  Overall, I am grateful to be surrounded by so many trees in a nice part of one of Russia’s “greenest” cities with better air quality.

I am an English Teaching Assistant for the Linguistics department and I currently work with 2nd, 3rd and 5th year students. The class schedule seems to always be changing so I am still unsure when my classes are but I will hopefully know with certainty by October. The institute is a branch of Volgograd State University and has a four year bachelor’s degree program and a five year master’s program. I am already leading a class on essay writing/composition with advanced students that I really enjoy. Teaching their standard English classes with their textbook is proving to be more difficult but no one said learning to teach would be easy!

Students have classes nearly every weekday lasting an hour and a half. When students enter the institute they are put into groups according to their major/specialization and will take nearly the same classes together all four or five years of their education. Students typically enter higher education after finishing secondary school when they are 16 or 17 although there are always older students.

I have been elated to be invited to anything social, including day trips to Volgograd across the river, a dinner at a dacha, walks on the river banks and beach parks among other things . . .

Enjoy my pictures for a glimpse of some of my adventures.

Sculpture of the Grieving Mother

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  1. #1 by Hannah on September 19, 2010 - 9:16 pm

    Have more adventures, Jess, and post pictures of them! I’m glad you’re doing well.

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