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Gauthier Petit, MA Romance Languages-French 2016

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In 2014, after a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree passed in France, I decided to spend 2 years at Texas Tech to teach french as a GPTI while attending classes for a MA, which I passed in May 2016.

Working and studying at Texas Tech is the best experience in my life and it opened doors to many professional opportunities. I also learned a lot about myself being away from France.

I have just had a new promotion and I am now a language-training manager. I teach English, hire English teachers and set up language trainings. This position could never have been possible without my experience at TTU.

It has been 4 years since I left Texas Tech. From 2014 to 2016, I met great people, attended amazing lectures, learned a lot and I am very thankful for this wonderful experience.

Alex Fincher, BA Languages & Cultures-Russian Language & Area Studies, 2017

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I became interested in Russia and Russian language at the age of 15. With my Slavic ancestry and a fondness for foreign languages, I decided to pursue Russian out of intrigue largely due to the fact it was something I had never seen other people trying to learn. It also sounds cool! There was no question about what to study at Texas Tech and I had a great time in the Department CMLL. Under the instruction of Professor Drigalenko, Dr. Qualin, and Dr. Barta, I learned more about the language, history, and culture of Russia from the Tsarist era to the contemporary Russia.

I decided to pursue a master's degree mainly to improve my language skills but also to learn more about the geopolitical history of Russia and Eurasia, as well as contemporary developments. I hope to work in a governmental capacity as an analyst or any position where I can use what I have learned about Russia and the language.

Living in Russia has been quite an experience! The food is not too different give or take cooking styles and preferred condiments (a lot of mayo and sour cream). The culture takes some getting used to but the Russian people can be very kind and warm hearted to visitors. The staff at the European University, St. Petersburg has been very accommodating to students and with their transitions into Russian life. There is a buddy program available where a student is assigned to a Russian graduate student who can show them around the city. By metro or by foot, the city is easy to navigate; in fact, I have done more waking in St. Petersburg than I typically do in the States. Overcoming culture shock is key to really getting to experience this vast country, not being afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try local cafes (who usually have English menus if you need them) or visit the local sites!

Overall, my studies and trips have only revealed a small fraction of the history and culture that Russia has to offer and I would invite anyone to come and experience it for himself or herself!