Study Abroad


Marina Masuzawa

From February 2012, I spent one year studying at the Saint Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts. The entire city of Saint Petersburg is registered as a World Heritage site, and in the area around the university as well, there are many tourist spots such as the Hermitage Museum, the Summer Garden, and Saint Isaac’s Cathedral. At the university, I was in the Department of Foreign Languages, where I took courses in Russian stylistics, lexicology, interpreting skills, English-Russian translation practice, and so on, alongside Russian students. In addition, foreign students were required to take private lessons twice a week, so it was an excellent environment for studying Russian. My primary goal during my year abroad was to improve the Russian language skills that I had learned in my first two years of university, and as a means to achieve that, my target was to pass the third level of the Russian language proficiency exam. In addition to learning the language, I read Russian literary classics, enjoyed the opera and ballet, and tried to experience Russian culture as much as I could. I also had unique experiences, such as participating in a theater workshop introduced to me by a friend and appearing as an extra in a movie. Having completed my year abroad, I feel that I am able to engage in things much more proactively than I used to in all areas of my life. In other words, rather than waiting to see what the situation will bring, I began to think that if I take action myself, I can bring the situation closer to my own ideal. I really hope that those of you who are going to be studying abroad will take on lots of new challenges too.