I fell in love with St. Petersburg from the very beginning. It is saturated with culture, beautiful architecture, gracefulness and elegance. From September 2004 to February 2005 I studied there at the Journalism Faculty of the State University of St. Petersburg, being the only own foreign student at that time. And the most surprising thing was that journalism in Russia is structured much broader compared to the German education system. There are subjects like philosophy, sociology, psychology, computing science and business studies apart from the many courses for newspaper and television. Whereas radio was always paid little attention, what is related to the fact that radio does not play such an important role in Russia since mainly music is played. Furthermore, quality journalism is not yet very widespread due to a lack of money.
Apart from the lectures and the Russian language course which I attended, I worked mainly for the “St. Petersburgische Zeitung” (monthly German newspaper) where I passed a six-months-internship. Together with Anna Litvinenko, the editor-in-chief at that time, we published a newspaper for the German minority every month. Although the circulation was only about 5.000 pieces, the work there was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I could interview a lot and thus improve my Russian significantly. But above all, it arose my interest in working as foreign correspondent. During that time I wrote some longer features, for example about a German man doing community service by looking after streets urchins (see work samples) and about a home for disabled people which is supported by German institutions (project “Perspektiven”).
In 2009 I visited St. Petersburg again and did investigations, among others about the topic “Naschi” and also for my 30-minutes radio feature “The Renaissance of the Orthodox Church in Russia”.
2011 I risk jumping into the cold water and work as freelancer foreign correspondent in St. Petersburg. Main reasons for this decision: little competition, low cost of living, lovely people, great cultural scene, nice city atmosphere and a lot of interesting topics…