Daniela Davletbaeva is this year’s Russian Department Overseas Student Assistant. She is currently a student at the High School of Economics in Moscow, studying economics. During her year at Dickinson she instructs student labs that allow for interactive learning and more practice outside of the classroom for students of Russian. – Katarina Durham ‘25
1) What is your favorite thing about Dickinson?
My favorite thing about Dickinson is the atmosphere of student life and friendliness of almost all students and people here. I enjoy being here and attending my classes, talking to people, and participating in various activities.
2) What has surprised you the most about the American education system?
I was surprised by the clarity of requirements. Here, I never get the feeling that I don’t understand something. If something’s wrong, I can merely spend more time on it and that is enough to learn it. Thus, there is much less stress and I have more free time.
3) What have you learned through your work with students in the Russian Department?
Through work with students in the Russian Department I have learned about cultural similarities and differences, including differences in how we use language. I have learned more about the difficulties that students face in the process of studying Russian. My goal is to help them speak more and to make them feel more comfortable when using Russian.
4) What advice would you give to students considering studying Russian?
Motivation and desire are most important. If a student is interested in studying Russian and has the motivation to do so, then I would recommend that they try to be consistent. It’s better to practice every day than to do a lot of work one day and then never come back to it. I would say: “Keep practicing using different methods and never be afraid of mistakes.” Mistakes make us better. If you are not making any mistakes, it means that the work is not challenging enough and that you are not getting anything out of it.
5) What are your favorite things to do at Dickinson or events that you have enjoyed?
I really like going to events organized by various clubs or by Dickinson itself. While I haven’t formally joined any clubs, I am enjoying the fencing club and attend it regularly. Also, I like the Arts Collective. I’m trying to expand my experiences and am open to new things and ideas.