My exchange semester in autumn 2012 was the first time I spent a longer period alone abroad. Of course, I had been in many other countries before: Italy, Norway, Poland, the Netherlands, Lithuania, etc. But this was the first time living in a foreign country, in a shared flat with two flatmates who do not know German or English, and not being able to speak the local language in a proper way. It was a life changing time!
After this exchange, I started to get more interested in Russia and the post-soviet space in general. Specially, my friends and the atmosphere in St. Petersburg brought me several times back to this extraordinary city.
During this semester, I was living with Lucia and Julia together in one flat. They were such great flatmates and thanks to them, I improved my Russian a lot!
The flat itself was situated in the Eastern part of St. Petersburg and just 5 minutes in walking distance to the next metro station.
My window was on the Western part of the building so that I often could see very beautiful sunsets from my room.
When people tell me: "St. Petersburg is such a beautiful city!", I would usually agree but answer at the same time that I do not like just cities but more the people who live there and I spend time with.
Of course, you can discover a lot of beautiful buildings, castles and fortresses in and around St. Petersburg. And those buildings can tell you a lot about the city's young history. But for me, it was always more interesting to sit and read in cafés or to meet with friends and talk about current topics in society and life.
Some faculties of the St. Petersburg State University have their facilities next to the Smolny Cathedral. In this picture, you can see the Sociological Faculty on the left side.
When Katharina, a fellow student of mine, and I wanted to go for the first time to our faculty, we just walked by the building because we couldn't believe that our faculty would look like this!