Russian students spend summer in North Platte, NE
(By Diane Wetzel, The North Platte Telegraph, August 6th 2008)
Koreeva and Anna Kononova are best friends, a long way from home.
Home in Stary Oskol, a city in Belgorod Oblast, Russia, where they
are students at the branch campus of Voronezh State University.
Through a company called Alliance Abroad Group, they arrived in
North Platte in June to live and work for four months.
Anna, a lively and enthusiastic 19-year-old student of languages
often interprets for her friend Oxana, a student of Russian and
international economics. "I am a student of foreign languages",
Anna said. "I want to practice my English. That is why I am here".
English is easier to read and write than to speak, Anna said, although
she doesn't have much trouble making herself understood. Oxana,
who works at a travel agency along with her studies, is the more
reserved of the pair, more unsure of her English...
"We are both a little shy". Anna said.
Living at the Howard Johnson motel and working as housekeepers at
Holiday Inn Express with no access to a car, the young women hadn't
seen much of North Platte until Tuesday when they were taken on
a tour of Scouts Rest Ranch, the Golden Spike Tower and Visitor
Center and Cody Park.
When offered a tour of town, both young women lit up.
"Can we see Buffalo Bill?" Anna asked.
They have studied the travel brochures in the lobby at their hotel,
and were delighted to have a chance to visit the places they read
Meeting people their own age in town has been difficult for the
pair. Without transportation and a little insecure about their ability
to speak English, it has been hard to get out and find friends.
At home in Russia, they have watched American movies and television,
but the actors talk too fast, Anna said.
Stary Oskol is about 12 hours from Moscow by train. The city with
a population of about 300,000 is on the border of one of the largest
deposits of iron ore in the world,
producing more than eight million tons of iron ore every year.
Oxana and Anna were a little surprised, after arriving at Chicago
following a 10-hour flight, to learn that they were still 17 hours
away from North Platte…by bus.
Taking the bus was less expensive than flying, Oxana said. "But
when we go home, planes all the way," she said.
Both women live with their parents while they are in school, and
both admitted to being a bit homesick at times.
"I miss my parents and my friends and my boyfriend," Anna said.
"He misses me too."
Tuesday's tour ended at Cody Park where the two friends had their
first ice cream cone.
"It was a great, amazing and wonderful day," Anna said.
(другие статьи о YFU-Russia)