Not that is tempting. A full academic year in St. Petersburg, studying natural sciences, and learning Russian as you go. Starts in September, goes on to May (presumably). Costs $2500 for the year (i.e. 9 months), including accommodation. Starting in September.
I could pull that one off. Financially – I already have more than £1500 in the bank, even once I’ve paid naranek his rent backlog, and by September I’ll have enough over that to manage 9 months’ living costs. I’ve been wanting to learn some science for aages – see the abortive attempts at taking Open University courses, the time I spent living with fiona_kitty and writing essays on biology every day, and my general grumblings about being too much of an arts student. And even if the course is crap, I’d still be in a university environment where I’d be all-but guaranteed to meet people and learn Russian. Plus, St. Petersburg is (from what I’ve seen) a fantastic place, and from there I can travel both into Russia and into Europe. At the end of it I’d know a lot of Russian, a bit of chemistry and physics, and a goodly number of people in St. Petersburg. What’s not to like?
I’m going to spend some time looking for the secret flaw. It’ll probably be the Russian bureaucracy. I *think* I’m OK to start applying now: all the admin details are in Russian, and I’ve not been through them – but one page said the process took 2 months, and in any case I’m sure they’re desperate for my $2500 and willing to fudge things to get it.
It shouldn’t be this easy. Something is going to be wrong with this. I can’t sort out my life in a single afternoon – it just doesn’t work like that.