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August 12, 2020

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Russian student interested in working for international organization

"One that is involved in civic activities to do good for the world"

Anna Lebedeva
Your nationality: Russian
Year at ONU: Senior
Major at ONU: Political Science

Interviewed by Elizaveta Dyachuk

Icon: How did you hear about ONU?
I’d had no idea that I would study at ONU before the YEAR Program (Year of Exchange in America for Russians), I am a participant of, announced the university I would go to. ONU is a small local university, that’s why even when I got the results, I still had no clue where I would go to. So, I googled it and came across ONU social media that surprised me in a good way with the activity there.  

Icon: What city did you grow up in? What is its population?
Moscow, 12.5 million people.

Icon: Tell us about your family. 
I live with my mom. She is an accountant. My other relatives live in Chelyabinsk area. I try to talk to them regularly, and frankly, sometimes it’s a bit sad that we live so far away from each other because I miss seeing them. But I love Moscow and don’t want to change my city by all means. 

Icon: How do you communicate with your family while in the U.S.? 
I use WhatsApp and Instagram with my mom and aunties. Also, I use Skype with my grandparents. By the way, I love sending real post mails to my grandparents.

Icon: What do you hope to do with your degree?
I haven’t decided yet. I’ll try myself out in the political journalism, maybe on the government positions, or I might go to the international organizations that are involved in civic activities to do good for the world. 

Icon: Do you intend to continue your education with a master’s and beyond?
Yep, I’d like to get the PhD degree as well.

Icon: How many languages do you speak?
I speak Russian, English, French.

Icon: What other countries in the world have you visited?
Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, San Marino and the United States.

Icon: What is the biggest culture shock you experienced when arriving at ONU?
I don’t think that I was shocked by anything, but there were a lot of little things that I didn’t get first like jokes, memes, slang. I just didn’t know that, so I was struggling to communicate for a while. Overall, most of the differences that exist are no so radical, and I’ve learned some things before coming here, so I can say that I was prepared to some extent.

Icon: What’s the biggest surprise you’ve discovered about the United States?
I didn’t expect young generations to be so left-wing with their political ideas. They talked a lot about Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Also, I’ve heard a lot here that students really want some changes in Medical care and education prices. 

Icon: Do you homesick? What do you miss the most from home?  
I felt some kind of homesickness, but it didn’t occur so often. I mostly missed my friend, public transport and Russian jokes.  

Icon: Is there somewhere in the United States that you hope to visit?
I’m going to New York, Boston and Philadelphia for a spring break, and I also want to visit Texas, New Orleans and probably New Mexico. Honestly, I’d like to visit all the states in the U.S! 

Icon: What food do you miss from home? Can you describe the food that you miss?
I miss different types of porridge/oatmeal. I miss baked fish and meat, not fried ones. Besides, I miss different types of traditional types of Russian salads. 

Icon: How do you like the weather in Ohio?
It’s alright, it’s the same as in Moscow. I wish it could be snowier. 

Icon: What has been your favorite experience so far?
: Definitely Niagara Falls. Being in the boat inside of the waterfall has been the happiest experience so far. I also liked hiking in Hawaii and just gorgeous beaches in Florida and Hawaii.