St. Petersburg Affected me for life Past Review

By (Westminster College, MO) for

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was completely worthwhile. I was only there for 5 week but those 5 weeks impacted my life forever. I made memories and friendships that will last forever, as well as I learn how to be a global citizen.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I was able to learn a lot. I went with basically no Russian language skills or knowledge of Russian history or culture. My eyes were really opened during this experience

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Resident Director of my program was awesome, and so was her assistant. They were there for you if you needed them. If you had a problem, like the atm eating your debit card they would go to the bank and help you get it back. They were more than just the resident director and her assistant they became our friends

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved living in IMOP, it was near 2 metro stations and was filled with tons of students from around the world. It wasn't very close to the city center, but it was easy to get to with metro, buses, trams, trolleys, or taxis. There was 2 grocery stores within walking distance, as well as a mall and McDonalds. There was also a homing living store (bedding/towels/appliances/etc) a little further away. There was some nightlife near by but most people went to the city center

* Food:

I enjoyed the food, even the pig ears that one of my russian friends got me to eat. The dorm building has a cafeteria were you could buy lunch for around 3-4 dollars. It was easy to walk 5-15 mins and find different places to eat, that had good fun. You have to be adventurous though just like in any country your not use to

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

AIFS took us to Moscow for the weekend which was alot of fun, we also had field trips to see the bridges open(which is one thing everyone must see when they are in St. Petersburg), we went to the Marinsky theater twice, went to Petergof, and Pushkin to see the palaces and so many other places. The trips were always fun and normally we has a great tour guide who spoke decent english.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Honestly we were in Russia so it was easy not to feel safe, but I didn't have any problems. It was kind of a situation where common sense can get you a long way.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

I went with no knowledge of the Russian language, but I was able to learn and absorb it. I would try to talk to it with classmates, and the friends I made. I will admit I didn't learn alot, but considering I was there for only five weeks, I feel like I made the most of my time there.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program is great for all types of students. Whether you know alot of Russian or none at all, you can benefit from this program.