Oklahoma, USA,
18 May - 15 June 2004


Learning Russian and doing theatre research

First of all, everything in the Privet website is true! The Privet Language School has been thoroughly accommodating, gracious, and helpful. They are willing to facilitate any special requests and they do it with a smile. I was in Kaliningrad to study Russian and do some theatre research.

I had been to Russia twice during Soviet times, but was a little nervous about my return. My flight was delayed out of Chicago because of weather and I missed my connection in Warsaw, but the Privet stuff was at the Kaliningrad airport the next day - no worries. I chose to stay in a guest house in lovely Kutuzova Street, perfectly situated in a very green part of the old city. Accommodation exceeded all of my expectations. I chose to eat two meals a day at the guest house and the total bill for the food after a month was the equivalent of only about $ 220 and there were classic Russian dishes.

My language teacher was very kind and well-prepared. Various excursions were included in the price and I met other Privet students from New York, Switzerland, and Japan. Privet had purchased several theatre tickets for me and had also arranged for a Kaliningrader to escort me. I met many locals and was often faced to speak Russian when in my own in a market, for example. As anyone who has studied a language knows, these kinds of experiences are essential in gaining the confidence necessary to converse. Kaliningrad itself is a fascinating mixture of German, Russian, and Soviet architecture and offers plenty of nightlife, too. Payment for my accommodation and lessons was made weekly and the staff always gave me an official receipt. I would encourage anyone interested in the study of the Russian language or Russian culture to contact Privet. This was truly a productive and memorable experience.