Russian Language Residents

2023-2024 Academic Year: Xeniya Amelina

Tell us something special about your hometown.

My hometown is currently called Tobyl and it is located in the north of Kazakhstan, just 3km away from Kostanay, our oblast's capital. I'm saying "currently" because it has already changed its name 4 times! The last change happened in 2020, when it was officially recognised as a city. Before that it was called Zatobolsk and that's the name we're still using colloquially to this day. "Zatobolsk" means 'beyond Tobol", which is our local river. And "Tobyl" is basically the very name of the river in Kazakh spelling. Now the river and the city share the same name. One would think that it's already a bit confusing, however, the funniest thing of all is that another village called Tobol already existed for decades in our oblast! Since 2020 it has become twice as confusing for people to differentiate between the two. The very first name that my hometown had was "Samodurovka" (1900s) and later on "Zatobolovka" (1920-1963).

Tell us about a favorite activity that you pursue when you have free time.

In my spare time I often go on photowalks in the countryside or in the neighbouring villages. I find it especially fulfilling when I give myself the freedom to “go with the flow” and head wherever the road would take me. I then usually end up in a place I’d never been before and explore it at my own pace. There always happens to be something of interest to me: carved, authentic wooden windows of old houses, picturesque landscapes, quirky exterior designs – anything, really! I grab my camera and save it in my collection of "digital memories". Such solo photowalks allow me to unwind and stay in the present. Plus, it's loads of fun when you're truly immersed.

Tell us what you would like to see in California or in the U.S. during your time at the College.

Having been raised watching "Home alone" every Christmas and New Year I've had a dream to visit New York at Christmas time for ages! During my time in the US I'd be delighted to have an opportunity to pay a visit to NYC for a couple of days, just to realise my childhood dream and, hopefully, to see the Christmas tree by the Rockefeller Center with my own eyes!

Within California I'm super excited to explore the Yosemite national park and the Sequoia national park, as well to take in the views of San Francisco, with its famous, vibrant Victorian cottages. LA's iconic places, such as Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Barbara and others, are also in my to-see list! Given how much I like taking photowalks and exploring new places, I'm sure my time in California will be brimming with interesting experiences!

Past Russian Language Residents

  • 2021-2023: Aleksandra Bystrova
  • 2019-2021: Mariia Glukhova
  • 2017-2019: Mykyta Tyshchenko
  • 2015-2017: Tatiana Ermolaeva
  • 2013-2015: Maria Lentsman
  • 2012-2013: Anastasia Bobysheva
  • 2011-2012: Veronika Sergeeva
  • 2009-2011: Anastasia Smirnova
  • 2007-2009: Elvira Amirkhanova
  • 2006-2007: Maria Bent
  • 2004-2006: Snezhana Zheltoukhova
  • 2003-2004: Evgenia Mineeva
  • 2001-2003: Natasha Kolupaeva
  • 2000-2001: Galina Titova
  • 1999-2000: Andrei Khanzin
  • 1997-1999: Sofia Ianovskaia
  • 1995-1997: Olessia Bordioug
  • 1994-1995: Nargis Kasenova
  • 1993-1994: Misha Kozareff
  • 1992-1993: Elena Nikiforova
  • 1991-1992: Nadezhda Maliugina
  • 1990-1991: Elena Panina
  • 1988-1990: Vera Nazarian
  • 1985-1988: Laura Ann Bratoff
  • 1980-1985: Yana Yudelevich
  • 1978-1980: Masha Sinkevich
  • 1976-1978: Galya Diment
  • 1972-1976: Masha Sinkevich
  • 1970-1973: Lidia Savenkov
  • 1969-1970: Roman Yuszczuk
  • 1968-1969: Petr Brandeisky