"I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world." Past Review

By (International Relations And Global Studies, Hamline University) - abroad from 08/29/2012 to 12/16/2012 with

AIFS: St. Petersburg - Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I can't even begin to explain how much I learned and how worthwhile it was. I learned how to effectively travel and sightsee, I significantly progressed in my Russian, I advanced in all my studies having learned "the abroad way," I learned to be "tough," and I grew as a person in ways I can't explain.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It was an amazing experience and I would never wish to do anything different! Staff were great, organized excursions and activities were fantastic, classes were super interesting, and cultural experiences were some for the books! All around excellent!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Just save accordingly and it will be fine!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • organized excursions and activities
  • the dorm and host family combo living situation
  • Classes were perfect for being abroad: Russian was very intensive with a lot of class hours and I learned so much, yet we only had about one hour of homework every night; Electives were so incredibly interesting and so relevant to what we went out and understood at museums or experienced in cafes daily, so that there was relatively no formal homework, but they encouraged you to learn in a new, different way- through experiences!
* What could be improved?
  • More involvement with Russian students and international students at the university
  • More days off to travel-even if it means a longer semester
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish someone would have told me prior to going abroad to set up a blog, some sort of journal, or a system for sending updates to my family because it was unrealistic once I got swept up into the action of the semester.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!