Morgan Richardson, graduate student from the USA, spent last year working at KIU: she taught English while mastering her Russian language skills.
Last summer she came back to the USA and recently sent us a letter with her impressions of staying in Kazan:
“This is an amazing city! I lived there for about 8 months and enjoyed everything: beauty of the city, meeting new people and… tasting new food! However, the first thing that surprised me was the fact that inhabitants are not really bothered by those who look different. More than anytime ever in my life, I was asked the below three questions, always in rapid succession:
1. Are you married?
2. Do you have a boyfriend?
3. You can find a husband in Kazan!
I can no longer even count how many times I've been asked these questions. To me, it's yet another sign of Kazan's amazing and bottomless hospitality. Without a loved one? Never fear, Kazan has a host of eligible bachelors! Of course, there are racial implications that swirl in the back of mind every time I'm cornered with this volley of questions. As a black woman who grew up in the American South, I am surprised to hear people so nonchalantly discuss interracial relationships. I am surprised because for me and every other citizen of America, marriage between whites and blacks was illegal until the late 1960s. That was less than 50 years ago.
I gained a lot of life and professional experience thanks to work at Kazan Innovative University. I’m grateful to the university’s teachers and administration for their support. I was lucky to have students that were easy to work with! I established English Club to give them extra knowledge of modern spoken English. My students became my friends and with their help I discovered a lot. Kazan is a vibrant city where you can’t get the blues. The university offered me an opportunity to try my hand in science by inviting me to make reports for several conferences: in pedagogy, inclusive education and anti-corruption. I met there first-class professionals from the USA and India. Also I kept taking Russian classes. I can say that Russian is one of the hardest languages in the world.
One of remarkable moments of my Russian experience was travelling to Baikal Lake on Christmas holidays. As an Oklahoman I felt terribly cold but it was totally worth it because I have never seen such stunning winter beauty!
I’m sincerely grateful to everyone I met at Kazan Innovative University and send them my best regards. You’ll always be in my heart!”