by Katie Benoit
Freshman Vladimir Burnin technically only traveled a few hours from his New Hampshire home to Alden Street, but 15 years ago he made a much lengthier 4,000-mile trip to America.
Burnin was born in Sosnovy Bor, Russia, which is a town in Leningrad Oblast. The town is known for its two nuclear power plants and other nuclear industries. Sosnovy Bor has a population of 65,788 people and is located close to the Baltic Sea and St. Petersburg.
Burnin came to the United States when his father wanted to receive his Doctorate in Chemistry at Dartmouth. He was three years old at the time of the move and is a dual citizen of both America and Russia.
He immigrated to America without knowing any English, but quickly learned once he was enrolled in Pre-K. Burnin’s parents were sure to continue to teach him his native language as well. Because of that, he is fluent in speaking Russian, in which he can also read and write.
Every summer Burnin returns to Russia for two months and visits his grandparents. He also has a summer job in Russia. When asked about the difference between Russia and America, there were quite a few, particularly as far as customs. For instance in Russia, a certain amount of flowers are given to people on certain occasions and if the number is wrong, it can be considered insulting. In Burnin’s hometown, they have also just started to have fast food chains like Burger King.
In Russia, people usually keep to themselves more than they do in America. However, Russians are very hospitable to guests in their home. They make sure they are treated with respect and fed well.
Burnin did a lot of research online about Springfield College, but never actually set foot on campus until the day of his student orientation. He really liked the ratio of students to teachers and the campus culture of sports.
“It’s close to New Hampshire, but still a good distance,” Burnin said.
Although he is currently undecided, he hopes to major in Computer Science because he has always been particularly interested in technology and math.
Burnin is also a member of the men’s swimming and diving team. He swims mostly distance free style races like the mile and 1,000 meter dash.
One of his favorite parts about Springfield College is how close he is with his teammates. They eat breakfast and dinner together and often spend time together outside of practice. Burnin is also close with his floor mates in Massasoit Hall.
Burnin is happy he the made the choice to attend Springfield College.