I am the Russian who studies Chinese as the second foreign language. English is also foreign to me, so it’s really great experience to practise English and gain new knowledge!
There are enough exercise books in my mother tongue, but unfortunately they are all grammar oriented and contain obsolete vocabulary. So it’s imposible to start SPEAKING the language, they are only for gaining academic information. ChinesePod provides me modern vocabulary, it’s quite powerful tool to listen to, repeat and then remember whole phrases that may help in a real situation.
Now it’s getting more and more prestigious to study Chinese here. Mainland China borders on Russia, that’s why there are many tourists and businessmen. Moreover, people still prefer to study European languages and quite few ones are ready to choose Cn (cause it’s considered to be the most difficult in the world).
So I wish everyone to reach your personal goals and become fluent speakers