Michal (27 years old) from Czech Republic (studied in Multilingua from January to July 2022)
In 5 months I took 440 lessons of individual Russian courses.
Well, neither me, nor my wife felt like traveling to Russia or Belarus. Also, as EU citizens, administratively it was simply much easier for us to stay in EU, which meant the Baltics. And we just liked Tallinn the most of the Baltic capitals :-).
I took 20 individual lessons a week with two teachers taking turn, so the learning is quite intensive. However, I enjoy it very much, both Lukasz and Ksenia are great teachers, though with very different approaches. It´s hard for me to judge, but it seems to me I´ve made quite a good progress so far (although it´s probably a claim for them more than me to make). I´m capable of watching Russian movies or news now without the need of subtitles, and read for example articles on the internet without constant looking up unknown words in a dictionary. I´m usually quite shy and have a hard time talking to strangers, but we managed to get past that very soon and though we see each other every day for a couple of hours, we never seem to run out of things to talk about (hats down to their preparation and ability to keep the lessons interesting, I know as a former teacher, how much time and energy it can take sometimes).
Why do I study Russian?
I´m a historian by training (master´s degree). I worked several years as a primary school teacher. It started as a temporary job, just because the opportunity came up, but I stuck with that. Nevertheless, I got tired of all the restrictions and difficulties at school due to coronavirus and last summer decided I need a change and possibly return to my original field of study. Since I was always interested in the history of 20th century and the eastern bloc in particular, I decided to focus on this topic and get a job in some research institute such as the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in Czech Republic.
To get an advantage in applying for a job and to understand the relevant sources and literature, I wanted to improve my Russian. I took some lessons in high school and during my university studies, so I wasn´t starting from scratch. First, I took some private lessons in Czechia, but that didn´t feel like enough, so I decided to take an intensive course abroad. I discussed it with my wife, who was on a maternity leave anyway, agreed with my director to quit by midyear and found a course at Multilingua.
Radim from Czech Republic (studied in Multilingua from April to August 2019)
Before my studying in Tallinn I had been studying the Russian language for 4 years in high school with a Czech teacher. I think it is much more useful to be taught by a native speaker. Native speaker knows language and he/she can explain various details or cultural specifics which are connected with particular language, country or nation.
My main motivation to learn Russian is the improvement of skills, because I daily use Russian language in my work.
I chose Tallinn as a destination to learn Russian because I had already been in Tallinn and I liked the city and I knew that I could practice the Russian language in Tallinn in everyday life. I also wanted to pass the language course in some country which is member of EU because of administrative simplicity.
I visited some of the Russian restaurants in Tallinn to try products of traditional Russian cuisine. We also discussed many of the Russian cultural specifics with my teacher Lukasz who is the best teacher I could ever have. Even though Russian is not an official language in Estonia, I could practice this language every day in school, restaurants, shops, museums etc. Of course I will recommend Tallinn as a language vacation destination to my friends or colleagues.
Einar from the US (studied in Multilingua in April 2019)
I chose to study Russian in Tallinn due to the prevalence of Russian language speakers in the city. I had previously completed Russian language training in Ukraine and Latvia, and I desired to study Russian in a new environment.
I found it very easy to speak Russian everywhere in the city, whether at restaurants, grocery stores, or at the sauna/banya. Museums such as the Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour Museum and the Vabamu Museum of the Occupation provided interactive audio guides in many languages including Russian.
I would recommend Tallinn to study Russian due to the large Russian-speaking population and the beauty and history of the city.
Steven from the US (studied in Multilingua in December 2018)
I studied in Multilingua during 2 weeks taking intensive private Russian lessons which covered the following subjects: politics, foreign policy, economics, defence, military issues, environmental science, technology, health, computers, societal, cultural issues, crime, and terrorism.
I had studied Russian for years and was proficient but needed practice. The lessons were enjoyable, not stressful but I learned a lot. I am glad I could get a tailored course suitable for my level and interests. My teacher Ksenia is an excellent instructor who had clearly spent a lot of time and effort designing my class. I appreciated her scheduling flexibility too. I liked the mix of reading, listening and role play exercises. We also used internet videos and online translation tools. It was good to receive hard copy handouts for future reference, too.
In Tallinn Russian language is widespread. Many store employees, vendors speak it, and Russian signs, displays and TV are easy to find. It is an excellent place for an immersion. Russian is still prevalent and the presence of Russian media helps too. I watched Russian TV regularly and looked through Russian books. Dual language information displays in museums are very helpful too.
Timothy from the US (studied in Tallinn in August 2018)
I stayed and learned in Tallinn for 3 weeks. My teachers were flexible and I loved how they found my weaknesses in the Russian language and thanks to it I worked my way through them. I regret we didn’t go out in the city sooner in the lessons to become better acquainted with Tallinn. I chose to come to Estonia because is close to Russia but is part of the EU. The cultural program in Tallinn in Russian was very satisfactory. I also managed to have several Russian meals during my stay. I feel that there were many opportunities to speak Russian. I went on several excursions (some in English, some in Russian) that took me to historic sites and helped to improve my understanding of historic events.
Robert from the US (studied in Tallinn in August 2018)
Before coming to Tallinn, I studied abroad, 6 years ago in Ukraine. I lived there for 2 years. Whilst staying in Tallinn, I wanted to work on my language skills as I have spent a long time not speaking Russian. During my Russian course I enjoyed having a large amount of time to speak and work on my flow of speaking. This was very helpful in my confidence in speaking. Outside the school, I felt that there were enough Russian speakers in Tallinn to speak as much as possible. I also participated at the sightseeing tours proposed by Multilingua. I went to Keila-Joa, Paldiski and Narva. I enjoyed these tours and enjoyed learning the history of Estonia related to its Soviet past.
Paddy from the UK (studied in Tallinn in May 2018)
I took Russian lessons as a total beginner for one week in Tallinn. The lessons were just right, difficult but my teacher went at my pace. I honestly didn’t know what to expect about the course but it certainly exceeded my expectations. I now have a very useful grounding in Russian which I was not sure if it was possible to achieve in just one week. I can de-cifer now Russian writing and am recognising more and more words on Russian mini-series on Netflix! It was nice to get to a point where I could put cyrilic letters together to spell words that I had learnt. Tallinn is a good place to attend Russian total immersion courses although Russian is not an official language of Estonia. Tallinn is beautiful, full of lovely people and, above all, safe. I considered going to Moscow or St Petersburg which may have been a little better for practice but I wouldn’t have felt so safe sight-seeing at night or around the town. And the language school is just on the edge of the old town which is a lovely place to stay. Tallinn is a very welcoming town and a pleasure to stay in as a solo visitor.
Wakana from Japan (studied in Tallinn from February to April in 2018)
I had studied Russian before in high school and university. I wanted to come to Tallinn to learn Russian because I feel more confortable that people also speak English in addition to Russian. Also, I sing in a choir and I know that singing is at very high standard in Estonia. I managed to join a local choir whilst my almost 3- month stay in Tallinn. I also visited museums and participated at the mass in Russian.
Max from the US (studied in Tallinn in July 2017)
My Multilingua’s teacher was very knowledgeable not only when it comes to the Russian language, but also Estonian and Russian history, traditions and culture in general. I never visited a Russian-speaking country other than Russia so my motivation was to learn more about Russian-speaking population in Estonia and how they adapt to the life in Estonia. The Russian cultural program was great. All the pre-arranged excursions contributed to my immersion into Russian language and Russian/Estonian culture. On top of that, I visited Russian museum in Tallinn. It had two excursions in Russian: one about Kardiorg and Peter the Great and the other about writing and printing in Russia and Estonia. I would definitely recommend Tallinn as a language vacation destination to anybody who is interested in studying/ improving the Russian language. I stayed in a hotel during the Russian language immersion, but I think it’d have been a great language and cultural experience to stay at my Russian teacher’s home and within a real Russian family. I’d definitely consider doing it next time!