THE LAND OF PUTIN

AM I AFRAID TO GO ABROAD?

THE NOTORIOUSLY BAD FOOD, RUSSIAN MAFIA, AND VODKA-SOAKED, DRUNKEN INDIVIDUALS DO NOT SCARE ME. IT IS THE CRYPTIC CYRILLIC LETTERS, IN THEIR ANALOGOUS TWISTS, ALIKE THOSE OF THE LATIN ALPHABET YET SO AVERSE IN SOUND. IT IS KNOWING THAT I PURPOSELY STRANDED MYSELF IN A SEA THESE CYRILLIC LETTERS AND SOUNDS, KNOWING THAT I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE MY THOUGHTS ENTIRELY. I KNOW THE FEELING FULLY, AS MY EXPERIENCES IN COLOMBIA HAVE EXPOSED ME TO THE FEELINGS OF DISCOMFORT AND FRUSTRATION, THE LANGUAGE A BARRIER IN MY RELATIONSHIPS AND INTERACTIONS. BUT STAYING IN COLOMBIA ALSO SHARPENED MY SENSES, MADE ME A BETTER SPEAKER, AND BROUGHT ME CLOSER TO THE SOUTH AMERICAN CULTURE AND MENTALITY. BECAUSE OF COLOMBIA I THRIVE OFF OF DISCOMFORT NOW, PLACING MYSELF IN RUSSIAN CLASSES AND TRYING EVERYTHING, FROM SLACKLINING TO ROCK CLIMBING TO INDIAN DISHES THAT DON’T EVEN LOOK EDIBLE. SO THE DISCOMFORT AND FEAR OF MESSING UP IS GOOD, ACTUALLY. ALMOST ADDICTING. I TRULY DO NOT HAVE ANY RESERVATIONS ABOUT STUDYING ABROAD BECAUSE I KNOW THAT I WILL LOVE IT, AND I KNOW I WILL OVERCOME THE LANGUAGE BARRIER. PRACTICING WITH MY FELLOW CLASSMATES, READING, LISTENING, OBSERVING THE LANGUAGE WILL BE THE KEY TO OVERCOMING THIS. MY ONLY TANGIBLE PROBLEM IS THE FUNDS, WHICH I WILL SCOUR THE INTERNET FOR AND PROBABLY PROCURE THROUGH SOME ENGLISH AND MATHS TUTORING WHILE I’M THERE. THE FACT THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE IS NO LONGER FUNDING THE BOREN SCHOLARSHIP FOR STUDENTS WHO WANT TO GO TO RUSSIA WILL MAKE THE SCHOLARSHIP SEARCH MUCH HARDER BUT I WILL PERSEVERE. THE LAND OF PUTIN IS WORTH IT.
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