February the first, the start of our Russian Adventure. The whole group met each other at 5.15 am (Dutch time) at the train station in Almere. After two flights and a long trip with the bus we finally reached our goal at 2.30 am (Russian time): Yaroslavl.
The first Russian day was a family day. I started this day with meeting the whole family, a lot of food (as breakfast) and going to the Zoo. In the evening we were together with the whole group, the first meeting with all the Russian students. It was exciting, fun and a little bit scary at the same time, but especially amazing to see all the students together!
The rest of the week was filled with a lot of different activities. Some of those were planned by the Russian school and the others by our Russian exchange partners. We went to the city centre of Yaroslavl, had a tour in the school, learned about Russian traditions, had dinner with the whole group, saw an ice hockey game of Lokomotiv, had a great party at school, played in the snow, went to Tutaev etc. The activities taught me a lot about Russia but it was also amazing to do!
The time we spent in Russia was a great experience for me. I learned much about the Russian culture but also got to know a lot of new people. Everything I did felt special and different, even going to school by bus. But except for all the differences I think we also had things in common, for example the interest in each other’s cultures. I really enjoyed our time at the Russian school because we got to know so much more about Russia; the traditional welcome, dance, clothes, food etc. But at the same time I lived a Russian daily life which was also very different from my life in Holland. And (learning about) the differences between Russia and Holland made the exchange for me unforgettable and special.
Even when I tried, I think it is still hard to explain, in words, how amazing the time in Russia was for me. It was a once in a lifetime experience which was more than worth it. And I am especially very glad that I have met so many (new) people, so thank you Lada, Ksenia, Anja, Svetlana, Sasha, Olya, Kristina, Anastasia, Polina, Alena, Max, Nastya, Ilya, Vlad and Kostya! Thanks to you all the Dutch people had the most amazing week of their lives!
Lindsay van Rijn