Durham Russian student Alex Haigh speaks to Katie Condon about his adventures on Russian national television!
Katie: Hey Alex, Hope you’re well! I heard that you were on Russian national television? Would you mind explaining to that happened?
Alex: Hello! Haha it’s a bit of of a mystery to me as well I'm afraid! Olga Zabotkina (in Durham) used to live here in Kostroma, and mentioned to an old friend of hers, a newspaper journalist, about my time here. This woman came and did an interview with me, which was published in a national newspaper. After that, I suppose, these 3 TV channels saw the article and decided it would be a good idea to interview me as well, although why they were particularly drawn to me I have no clue!
K: Omg that’s so random… Was the interview in English or Russian? What kind of questions did they ask you?
A: Tell me about it! The first was in English with a bit of Russian thrown in, the other two were all Russian!
K: Did they want to know about your experiences in Russia specifically or was it more about your life in general? What kind of things did you discuss with them?
A: It was a mixture of the two, they were especially keen to know about my life here, but they also wanted to know what stereotypes British people have of Russia. In the first interview we went to a dacha, a summer cottage, to talk about life there, and in the third one we went ice fishing with my host family's Dad!
K: That's so cool !! Were you nervous before? Has anyone approached you since?
A: I wouldn't say nervous exactly, more just a bit confused haha! Yes, a local journalist is doing a radio interview with me tomorrow actually, although he seems to want to talk more about the media attention I've had, rather than why I'm here in the first place, ironically!
K: And what did you say to them re British stereotypes of Russia?
A: Vodka, bears and people quite unfriendly, I said the first two seemed true but the last one was absolutely incorrect, the people are (by and large) friendly and helpful to me if I don't understand something
K: And how is your year abroad going otherwise?
A: Generally very well, I am currently at the airport waiting to fly home for Christmas, then back to Russia for another month. It has been very rewarding, enjoyable work, both the studying and the teaching, and it will be a shame to leave at the end of February!