Host Family vs. Shared Flat
Whilst studying in Russia, you have several different accommodation options, the most popular being host families and shared flats. They each have their advantages and disadvantages, and work best for different people. So, let me explain a little bit more about these two options to help you make an informed decision about where you would like to stay whilst studying in Russia.
Staying with a host family is an excellent way of ensuring that you speak plenty of Russian after your classes. You can only learn so much in class; it’s necessary to practise what you’ve learnt in real-life situations and a host family can provide you with plenty of these. My experience of living with a host family whilst on my year abroad was very educational and enjoyable. My host mother was incredibly friendly and we would have lengthy chats over breakfast every morning. To begin with we drew lots of pictures. However, after a while we drew less and less and my Russian language really took off!
By living with a Russian host family, you will see for yourself how a Russian family goes about their day-to-day life. You’ll also learn more about Russian culture since you may well have the opportunity to celebrate various prazdniki (national holidays) and birthdays with your host family. Finally, what better way to get to grips with Russian cuisine than to stay with a host family?
Host families are available in all locations: Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, Petrozavodsk and Riga.
Staying in a shared flat can offer you an equally positive experience albeit a slightly different one. A shared flat provides you with more flexibility than staying with a host family. In a shared flat you can do what you want, within reason. There’s no need to join your host family for dinner every day and try and hold polite conversation (please bear in mind that many host families allow you cook your own food). You can also return home when you want to and you can invite friends over.
With a shared flat, you can arrange to live with your home friends, which, when you’re on a long-term study programme may well be exactly what you need. Alternatively, you could arrange to live with Russian friends. Lastly, you don’t need to eat Russian food every day when staying in shared flat – a big advantage for those who aren’t too keen on Russian cuisine!
Shared flats are available in all locations and can be arranged through your university, language school or an estate agent.
From EBC with love
For information about accommodation options in your chosen Russia city, please get in contact at: [email protected]