MSIP 2010 participant Raffi Babikian shares his summer experience in Moscow.
I have not done much traveling outside of the United States at this point; only France and Israel. Those are the only ones I can remember. I have also been to Australia when I was young. In my opinion, life gets boring when you are in the same city, or even the same country, for a long period of time.
The Moscow Summer Internship Program seemed like a very necessary step in my life. After the essential paperwork was dealt with, it was time. It was hard to believe, but there I was in Moscow. My feeling about the city is like a roller coaster that has yet to drop. I feel very comfortable here. The city has a great fusion of the modern and historical.
I received an offer to intern for the Association of Russian Banks, which is run by Garegin A. Tosunyan. I am working as an analyst, specializing in the real estate market. I was working under Serge Grigoryan, Chief Analyst. He alone helped me a great deal in adapting to such a different work environment. It was a pleasure to work here.
Outside of work there was another group of people that none of us interns could have done without: the AGBU SIVAM volunteers. Since most of the city signs were in Russian and most people there did not speak English, we were reliant on these volunteers. They accepted the challenge with open arms. We were escorted to our workplaces for the first week until we would feel comfortable on our daily commute and it was smooth sailing from then on.
During the summer, we were scheduled to take Russian-language courses twice a week. We were able to learn how to read and write in Russian. This was quite helpful as it allowed us to tour the city without any trouble.
The Moscow Summer Internship Program was a wonderful experience and I would do it all over again if I could. I certainly feel more cultured and more knowledgeable than before I arrived in Moscow.
Thank you AGBU for this experience. For all the young Armenians considering this program, go for it as it is a chance of a lifetime.