Portrait of Victoria granville

Victoria Granville

I fell in love with Leeds as soon as I saw the prospectus. I only went to one open day and that was when I was accepted onto the course. At the time I had applied for History but later on I realised that Russian was what I really wanted to do.

Russia is like marmite – you either love or hate it. I love it. This is probably due to the fact that I lived there as a child and therefore have a real insight into the Russian psyche but I guess what really draws me to Russia is the fact that there is still so much that can be done there. So much progress that is yet to be achieved, not only in business but also in attitudes – there is also so much that one can learn from Russians and Russia. Russians are honest, open people, which is refreshing. They also love deep conversations about love, life and philosophy, and they are infinitely generous.    

The year abroad was probably the highlight for me. It’s when I really got to know the people on my course who are now some of my closest friends, and it’s when I really got to know the Russian language and it’s culture. We are a very small course and it’s amazing that we all get on so well.

The learning facilities here are great. The Michael Sadler building (home to modern languages) has a cluster where students can use the programme Grammatica to help them with their Russian. Otherwise all the libraries are great and very easy to use.

There are a lot of societies in Leeds to cater to all tastes. I was president of SlavSoc (the Russian society), which provides lots of different ‘russian-esque’ events. Leeds is an absolutely brilliant student city. There is something for everyone. Clubs catering to all different music tastes, bars and restaurants at friendly prices. York, the dales and surrounding tourist attractions aren’t far from Leeds at all and are great fun for a day trip. This city has definitely made my experience here as a student.

To anyone considering studying Russian here I would say you need to be open-minded, curious and adventurous. The year abroad is good fun and probably a lot of people’s favourite part of the course but you must be open-minded and understanding when it comes to Russia, as well as adventurous and curious to explore new things. If you are all these things then you should have the drive and passion to study something so rich as the Russian language.