cool experience

Academics: 10
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Housing: 10
Safety: 10

I chose to go to Russia so I could receive enough credits to graduate with a Russian language degree. I had no idea what to expect from living with a host family that spoke almost exclusively Russian or taking classes that were taught in Russian. This being said, choosing to be in St. Petersburg was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I don't think I am a particularly shy person, but whenever it came to speaking Russian out loud in my classes at my home university, I. would keep my mouth shut and avoid making eye contact with my professor so as not to be chosen. In Russia, however, I didn't always have the option of asking my questions in English, nor did I have the option to avoid participating in the small classes. I felt so much better about speaking after living with my very loving (and very patient) host parents and Russian buddies. I felt that as I learned the language I also became bolder and more willing to force myself out of my comfort zone.
Initially, I was hesitant to study abroad in Russia because I always wanted to travel while I was abroad and I was worried that being in Russia would hinder that. CIEE leaves a week for students to travel (I recommend Georgia) and there are plenty of weekends towards the end of the semester to explore other countries or Russian cities. Even if you don't travel there are always new things to explore in St. Petersburg such as the Udelnaya Flea Market and the different expositions at Etagi Loft.
I think there is a study abroad program out there for everyone, but coming from someone who was incredibly skeptical of the CIEE program at first, I couldn't imagine not taking part in that experience now.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed