29.10.2017 20:38

Through a Canadian-German love-story to living in Brno – a story of Russian student Anastasia Blokhina

Autor: Anežka Součková | Kurz: English section | Kategorie: Features and other

Back in Russia, sixteen-year-old Anastasia Blokhina didn’t know what or where to study - she just knew she must move to another country, otherwise she won’t be able to afford a living for herself for another ten or twenty years. Her mother sent her to a Canadian summer school, where she met her future boyfriend from Germany. Since German is a very hard language, Anastasia wanted to go somewhere else. She chose a neighbouring country where a language easier to learn is spoken - the Czech Republic.

Anastasia Blokhina is a student of social anthropology and gender studies at the Masaryk University, now beginning her second year. It wasn’t easy to get there - she had to learn a new language in just a year to be able to pass the entrance exams. At first she also struggled with not feeling comfortable in the Czech Republic at all. But just a year later, after moving to Brno, she felt like she found her second home and was sure she wants to stay and live here.

“I come from a Russian town Blagoveshchensk - that’s on the border with China. The architecture there is very communist. There still is the statue of Lenin on the main square and the names of the streets have never been re-named.”  Surprisingly, this does not seem to bother the people living there. “We don’t think about it in a propagandist kind of way. We were born here and grew up here so we are just used to it.”

At first Anastasia wanted to move to a bigger city like Moscow or Petersburg. It didn’t take long and this idea soon transformed into wanting to move to another country. “It was popular to send your kids to study abroad during the summer. My mum told me she had saved money to be able to send me to Canada and I just didn’t have the will to say no,” she says, laughing.

In Canada Anastasia fell in love with a boy from Germany. And that’s the point where the Czech-Republic-story begins. “I didn’t have the guts to go to Germany because I don’t speak German and it’s a very hard language, you can’t learn it in a year. After the Canada experience, I finished school and I was sure I will move to central Europe. Firstly because of my boyfriend but also because it’s very hard to get a living on your own back where I come from, since the real estates are very expensive. My mum lived with her parents until 35 and I knew it would be the same with me if I stay.” she explains.

The first year wasn’t very pleasant. Anastasia lived in České Budějovice and the city didn’t really suit her. “After taking the Czech language course and living in this city for one year I didn’t want to stay there. I didn’t feel like Czech Republic is close to me. Then I moved to Brno and that is a completely different world.” Anastasia says and a bright smile appears on her face.

She quickly felt like the city might become her next home. “Brno is very creative. There is a lot of students who have crazy and interesting ideas. And Brno accepts these ideas.”

And the future? Anastasia is satisfied at the present moment and that is what really matters to her. She finds the fields of study she chose interesting and enriching, she found a czech boyfriend with whom she lives in a rented flat, in a city that she feels she belongs in. As J. K. Rowling wrote: “What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does.”

Klíčová slova: foreign student, Russia,


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