The Plan.

So this is the exciting part.... 

As part of my degree programme, we have to spend at least 30 weeks abroad, roughly coinciding with term time. I'm hoping to fill those weeks with general awesomeness!

So here goes...

Source: Google Maps

From 7th September - 21st December: Воронеж

I will be studying (and hopefully teaching English!) at the Voronezh State University.
Voronezh is located about 6 hours south of Moscow by train (practically round the corner in Russian terms).
Source: Google Maps

 I am looking forward to fully immersing myself in the Russian University experience. Even though it will be a real challenge, I really don't want to get caught up in the ERASMUS student bubble. I'm hoping that helping the English department with speaking classes and joining a society or two will help me make some native friends. I will be living with a Russian family, being looked after by a Russian mama (commonly known as a Хозяйка = housewife/hostess). I definitely think the home-stay will be one of the most beneficial yet challenging parts of my time away, as it was an absolute highlight of my gap year in Chile. You'd be surprised how much conversations over tea and toast help to improve your language! Hoping some sneaky homework help will also be on the cards...

1st February - 28th June: Sevilla

I will be teaching English in a private language school in Sevilla.
Sevilla is located in the Andulsia region of Spain, the birthplace of flamenco.
Source: Google Maps

As the only person out of my class mates to be making a move south, I will have no choice but to get out of my comfort zone and jump feet first in the the Andalusian way of life to try and make some friends. Though my employer contracts me for 25 hours a week, a lot of time will be spent planning and marking, making a full time job of 40 hours. I spent time teaching on my Gap Year, and though I had been skeptical as to whether I'd enjoy it, the kids, the friends I made and the laughs we had in class made it all worth while. I'm hoping my time in Sevilla will be just as rewarding. I've always wanted to learn flamenco or sevillana, the two traditional dances of Spain, so hopefully that will be my chance to make some friends outside of work. Who knows, maybe you'll see me among the costumed dancers at the Feria de Abril (the famed April Fair)...

Summer 2014: Moscow

Source: Google Maps

As for the rest of the summer, my plans have now taken shape. As I started Russian from scratch when I came to university I know that it will need more refining than my Spanish. To give me a fighting chance coming in the final year, after 20 weeks in Spain, I want to return to a Russian speaking country for a month before I return to Bath. Having spent time in Russia in the first semester, originally the idea of spending some time in Ukraine, in either Kiev or Odessa, seemed pretty attractive. But with the currently political situation being so unstable, that is now out of the question. Returning to Russia to Moscow seemed the best and most economical option, so I dove in head first and just sent the application off. I will be studying for a month in the Pushkin Institute in Moscow, so expect more from the great Soviet capital soon!

So that is the grand plan as it stands thus far... many people will tell you, I have itchy feet...expect weekend vacations to Moscow and detours to Granada ;)

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