Spending time in Russia is an integral part of all courses offered by the Department; it is also for many the highlight of their Russian degree, as students who have been there are sure to tell you!
The Department has links with a number of Russian universities and institutes. These include:
TCD/Moscow State University staff and student exchange programme
General information about Moscow State University
Students may also make arrangements to study in other institutions: in the recent past students have spent a year in the Russian Academy of Theatrical Arts (Moscow), the Moscow Conservatoire, the Academy of Arts (St Petersburg).
I benefited enormously from the year in Moscow - not just as a student. It really helped me grow up and be independent!
I was scared stiff the day before I flew to Russia for the first time - I loved all the time I spent there.
Living and/or studying in Russia is not a 9-month sentence! For most students, it is the most enjoyable and memorable part of their whole college experience. Many who have apprehensively left Ireland with one or two badly-pronounced words of Russian find themselves reluctantly returning as almost-fluent Russian speakers. Once you have spent some time in Russia you'll find yourself going back again and again and again!
Russia is a very sociable place to live and study. Whether you choose to go to Moscow, St Petersburg or an isolated Siberian town, you are bound to find fun and friendship that will be difficult to leave.
Russian maps of the world show a huge Russia, edged by distorted European and Asian countries, and America appears as a lesser counterbalance to Russia somewhere at the side. That tells you something about the different world view you become familiar with when you live in Russia. It's not an experience that you can have in any other way but by going there, and I think it's one worth having for people who are interested in the world around themselves.
My visit to Russia gave me the opportunity to see the world from Moscow, a multi-cultural city which has been the capital of a huge empire. I travelled around some of that former empire on the trains, and I have carried away an impression of vast space, which is totally unlike anything to be had in these islands.
You're going to actually go to Russia!?
Thanks to advice and information from the department, I decided to take a year out of my degree to study in The Russian Academy of Theatre Arts in Moscow. Having studied Russian as part of my TSM with theatre, it seemed like a brilliant opportunity. So, in September of 1998, I headed off to Moscow, alone, equipped with 2 years worth of language that I had acquired at Trinity, and not a clue what to expect. In hindsight, it is one of my most valuable experiences so far.
Adjusting to a completely different culture, society, climate and people was a long and difficult process. I soon realised how little I had known about Russian life. Living there, in a student hostel, surrounded constantly by Russian theatre students, I was suddenly confronted with a real Russian way of life. At first it was exhausting and lonely, but after a while, perhaps a month, I became addicted. I fell in love with it all.
Not surprisingly, my language improved so much - it's amazing how quickly you can learn when you actually need to. Studying with Russians was inspiring and the students were dedicated and passionate.
The culture in Moscow is rich, and the performing arts are an integral part of this. It is of such high quality and it is everywhere, accessible to everyone. It is easily what I loved most about being in Moscow.
Not to be too melodramatic, but my year in Moscow changed my life. It changed my perspective on everything. It showed me the value of knowing another language. I experienced art there that was beyond anything I had known before, and what's more, I was living amidst a society that appreciated it .
Last updated 8 March 2012 by .