Perseverance Past Review

By (Russian Language and Culture, The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 09/05/2012 to 12/21/2012 with

CIEE: St. Petersburg - Russian Language

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned who I was as a person, and what I can overcome. I learned what kinds of people make real friends, and what kinds of people are worth my time. I learned how to cope with things I can not control, and how to hunker down and get through unpleasant times. I learned to find joy in the little things and life, and I learned to be self-reliant. I learned what it means to be an American, and overall I learned that the greatest joys in life are found in those around you.

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.

* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? It differed a lot throughout the program. Some weeks, $100, some weeks $3.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Ask your host mom if you can boil water and bottle it yourself instead of buying it. If your host mom offers to make you lunch, take it. Get the card for public transportation if it's worth it. It was for me.


* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? First year intensive
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?
  • Teaching English
  • Field Trips
  • Time spent with friends outside of class
* What could be improved?
  • I wish I lived a bit closer to school
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Get used to cabbage, and get some real gloves.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'