I Want to Return ASAP! Past Review

By (Russian Language, Literature, Bryn Mawr College) - abroad from 08/26/2015 to 12/17/2015 with

American Councils (ACTR): Advanced Russian Language & Area Studies Program (RLASP)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I exponentially improved my speaking and comprehension abilities, I made meaningful and lasting friendships with locals. It was completely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I had many incredible experiences while studying in St. Petersburg, from classes that exponentially improved my speaking and comprehension skills, a wonderful host who always had suggestions for places to see, and a peer tutor who was always happy to edit essays and show me around the city.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our resident director in St. Petersburg was experienced and knowledgeable. He expertly navigated the problems that arose with our visas.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had an excellent host! And although we lived relatively far from the center of the city in Парк победы, the area was beautiful!

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

N/A, had no need for healthcare. Prior to departure, an HIV test is needed to acquire a visa.

* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~4,000 rubles per week (~75 USD in Fall 2015)


* 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

Speaking Russian on the university was mandatory at all times, as well as on group excursions.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Third year (advanced) Russian
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Living with a host family
  • Small class sizes
  • Interesting cultural excursions
* What could be improved?
  • Moving "off" day from Wednesday to Friday
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I only wish I knew how much I would enjoy the program, and I wish I could have stayed for a second 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!