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STUDENT INTERVIEW: Anastasia Katsourbyi (SILAC - Russia)
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
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
J: I've never heard of that being done before, who told
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?
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
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
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?
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
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
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