St Petersburg residents are not the only people who want to obtain an international certificate that proves their level of proficiency in Japanese, Korean or Persian.  Residents of many other regions in Russia – along with citizens of China, Uzbekistan, Estonia and Latvia – have taken exams at the St Petersburg University Language Testing Centre. 

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The staff at the Testing Centre note that the number of applicants is constantly growing.  Compared with November of last year, it has doubled and is now up to around 1,000 a month. 

TOPIK (the Test of Proficiency in Korean) has been conducted at the University since 2018.  The JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) is also in demand:  the first time that it was offered this winter, 600 people chose to take it. 

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Persian recently became the twentieth language a person can confirm their level of proficiency in at the St Petersburg University Language Testing Centre.  It was the first time AMFA (the Persian language proficiency test) had been offered anywhere outside of Iran, and residents of St Petersburg, Moscow, Astrakhan and Vologda sat it.

According to Dmitrii Ptiushkin, the Acting Director of the St Petersburg University Language Testing Centre, there are now five Oriental languages in the University’s language testing portfolio, and Chinese and Arabic are now in the works.  ‘We are bringing to fruition an important project that was initiated several years ago by St Petersburg University Rector Nikolay Kropachev.  In support of our language testing sessions, we regularly hold consultations that are free of charge.  And in 2020,’ he revealed, ‘we plan on starting up the first ever online preparatory course in Korean.’