G.S. Dhiya Misha, an eighth standard student of an international school in the city, aspires to study space engineering in Russia.

She has enrolled at the Centre for Russian Language Courses at Le Chatelier School in Chinna Chokkikulam in the city to learn Russian to bag the Russian government scholarship after she completes school.

P. Brundha, a Class XII student of a matriculation school, plans to study medicine in Russia with scholarship. “I have been learning Russian language since April. I do not find it difficult to learn a new language even while concentrating on school studies since the Russian classes are conducted only on Sundays,” she says.

Established in 2012, the Russian language centre in the city is one of the 13 facilities in the country. Three students secured scholarship for courses such as Marine Engineering, Medicine and Language in the past two years after attending classes in the centre, according to Kravets Zoya Vladimirovna, coordinator, Russian Language Courses, here.

Along with Ms. Dhiya, six other students have enrolled for the course in the next batch. The fee for completion of one level is Rs.4,000. Ms. Kravets also conducts classes in Melur.

After students, the centre is sought after by language enthusiasts. “I am keen on learning foreign languages and the unique culture of other countries. The Russian centre has provided the right opportunity. I want to become a good translator,” says S. Hakkim, professor of French at a private engineering college here. He plans to learn German next.

A Japanese language instructor, P. Amutha says she wants to learn as many foreign languages as possible. “Learning new languages opens doors to numerous job opportunities, but not many in the city are aware of this,” she says.

P.V. Rajendra Sethupathi, Principal of a private engineering college in Madurai, is one of the students at the centre. “I want to motivate my students to learn foreign languages so that they will get better job opportunities. It is out of my personal interest that I am learning the language,” he says.

Speaking on the demand for learning Russian, Ms. Kravets says completing one or two levels in Russian make students eligible for government scholarship in any discipline. “Courses such as Space Engineering are expensive. When students secure scholarships, they get free boarding and lodging. Knowledge of Russian boosts job prospects,” she says.

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