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STUDENT INTERVIEW: Anastasia Katsourbyi (SILAC - Russia)

Anastasia Katsourbyi
Anastasia Katsourbyi

Anastasia (Nastya) comes from Vladivostok in Russia and is studying for 4 weeks in the SILAC program.

Jon: You're coming towards the end of your studies now, how's it been so far?
Nastya: It was good at first when we were all getting to know eachother and the class was generally fun, but it became a little quieter after some other students entered the class for the last two weeks.
J: I saw you at the firework display in Okazaki on Saturday night - what did you think of it?
N: It was very nice, very romantic - I was with my roommate but when I looked at everybody else, all the couples who were sitting together, I felt a bit lonely.......Also, somebody told me that they can write words or sentences with the fireworks so I expected that as well, but didn't see it.
J: I've never heard of that being done before, who told you that!?
N: I can't remember, I think I heard it somewhere.

J: So what brought you to Yamasa?
N: I tried to find some schools to go to through my University in Vladivostok, but many of the schools had deadlines which I couldn't meet. So I searched the internet and came across Yamasa. The dates fitted in with my break from University, there was accommodation available and the price was ok.
J: What are you stuyding at University?
N: Japanese.
J: And why did you choose Japanese?
N: I had to choose between Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Vladivostok is close to Japan, I think Japanese culture is unique and generally the country is interesting. Also I might get a job that pays good money in the future!
J: After University?
N: I plan to take further studies in Tourism and possibly set up a some kind of travel agency later on. J: Will you come back to Japan at any time in the future?
N: I hope to return to study for 12 months in about 2 years from now, though sooner if I can.

J: Is this your first time in Japan?
N: Yes.
J: And has anything surprised you or have you come across things that you didn't expected?
N: I'd already studied various things about Japan - the culture, the history, the language etc, so it was exactly as I expected.
J: Really? Everything was exactly as you expected?
N: Well....nearly everything. One thing I discovered was that all Japanese people were different, not just their looks but also their personality. Also I was surprised at the number of chain stores there are in Japan because you don't really get them in Russia.
J: No McDonalds or KFC in Vladivostok then?
N: No, no junk food at all.
J: So have you eaten any junk food whilst you've been in Japan.
N: No, I don't like junk food and I'm not keen on Japanese food.
J: So if you don't like junk food and you're not keen on Japanese food then what are you eating?
N: My Mum gave me some Russian porridges to bring with me - with hot milk they're lovely, even my roommate agrees.
J: I've never tried Russian porridge before, the stuff we get back in the UK is a little bit iffy.
N: Well, I'll bring you some Russian porridges in tommorrow if you want?
J: OK!
J: How are you finding the accommodation?
N: The room I'm in is fine (Villa studio apartment), and I like my room mate a lot, she's so kind. People say that it's a bit small for two people but if you get on with your roommate it's great. At first I wanted to stay in an apartment by myself but I'm glad I didn't.
J: Have you made many Japanese friends in the four weeks you've been here.
N: Yeh, and I try to speak Japanese to them but it was difficult sometimes because when I studied Japanese before I studied the polite form and some keigo but when my Japanese friends speak to me it's all informal and that was hard to understand.

J: When you return to Vladivostok at the weekend what are you going to be doing?
N: It's been raining constantly since the beginning of August so I don't really want to go home! But I have to go back so I'm leaving Okazaki on Friday and going to Nagoya to do some shopping before flying back to Russia on Sunday. I'll probably meet up with my friends when I get back and then from September 1st I'll go back at University.

J: And finally, any message for our readers?
N: Yeh, most people seem to only think of Moscow or Siberia when they hear I'm from Russia and people kept on asking me questions like 'is it cold in Vladivostok'? It might be cold in Siberia but where I live has the same latitude as Sapporo so it's quite warm at the moment. And there are a lot of other regions in Russia, apart from Siberia and Moscow.


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