Прочитайте рассказ и выполните задания 12–18. В каждом задании обведите букву A, B, C или D, соответствующую выбранному вами варианту ответа.
Challenges for foreigners in Russia
If you are moving from an English-speaking country to another, some of the problems of the new location will be minimized, but moving to a foreign language country is probably one of the hardest things to do. You will probably experience culture shock and will definitely have your ups and downs. Here’s a list of challenges you can expect to run into while you adjust to Russia.
Language, of course, is a no-brainer, but I couldn’t leave it off the list! I strongly advise learning at least the alphabet before coming to Russia to avoid feeling completely isolated. While going anywhere where you don’t speak the language can knock you down for a while, Russian is especially difficult with its complex grammar structure (cases, verb aspect, prefixes), unpredictable word stress, and difficult pronunciation (the letters ы, ь, and й always get me) … which also means your successes will be especially triumphant!
Effective communication is an essential part of our lives that we often overlook when it comes so naturally, but the first time you can’t answer a cashier’s simple question or can’t properly vent to your host family about your day, you will never underestimate the power of words again.
The second challenge is expressing emotions. Most people are familiar with the stereotype that “Russians don’t smile”. From my observation, Russians tend to show little emotion outside of home. Surrounded by strangers, often in harsh or unpleasant weather, there is no reason to emote freely. Of course, you see friends laughing and couples kissing and people arguing, but for the most part (excluding driving), emotions stay on the inside. Until you get home, when Russians are comfortable and around people they trust, passions run strong.
In the United States, the expression of our emotions tends to vary little in different circumstances, but when expressed, Russian emotions can be even stronger and perhaps even more genuine and heartfelt than Americans are used to.
In addition, if you are a foreign student in Russia, the biggest challenge is a different education system. Russian higher education is very different from that in the United States. For the most part, universities are buildings scattered throughout a city, not the centralized micro-cities that many US students are used to. Russians generally take 9–11 classes per semester that meet less frequently than American courses would, and it is not uncommon to skip a class almost entirely and just cram for the final from other students’ notes or a study guide. Professors are also less available – no office hours, they don’t always give out a school e-mail address, and in general they treat students more like colleagues.
It can be a shock going from a campus plastered with student event flyers to a cluster of half-empty academic buildings, but don’t worry – Russians make up for it by hosting a plethora of clubs and organizations for the city in general. Especially in St. Petersburg and Moscow there are hundreds of clubs to join from language (be a star in the English conversation club; meet other foreigners in the Russian club), sports, acting, dancing, singing, board games, movie-watching, and more! Try making some searches on the Russian social network V Kontakte to start out.
Going abroad for a long period of time has its difficulties no matter where you choose to go, but the better prepared you are for the challenges you’ll face in Russia, the faster you will adjust and be able to call this northern empire your second home.
12. What are people sure to experience when coming to stay in a different country, according to the author?
A) Both good and bad emotions.
B) Language barrier.
13. The author believes that going to a foreign country without knowing its language is …
14. It is implied that your communication skills are … when you live abroad.
A) improved naturally
C) more effective
D) often ignored
15. According to the author, expressing emotions in the Russian culture …
A) is untypical of many people.
B) differs depending on circumstances.
C) is forbidden in public places.
D) is similar to the American culture.
16. The author thinks that compared to the USA, in Russian universities …
A) final exams are more difficult.
B) education process is more centralized.
C) teachers are more professional.
D) students could disregard some classes.
17. “It” in “… Russians make up for it by hosting …” (paragraph 7) refers to the …
A) variety of student clubs.
B) social networking.
C) student activities.
D) quality of academic buildings.
18. What is the main idea expressed in the last paragraph?
A) The adaptation period to a foreign culture depends on an individual.
B) Living in Russia for a long time is rather challenging for foreigners.
C) The longer you stay abroad, the better prepared you become.
D) Preparation can smooth your adaptation period in Russia.