Saint Petersburg: a beautiful summer Past Review

By (Geology, University of California - Davis) for

CIEE: St. Petersburg - Summer Russian Language

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I am eraly glad I studied abroad. It gave me a sense of the culture that I would never have gained otherwise, and really put my goals into perspective.

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.

The academics this summer were easier then I expected. The teachers were both good and bad, and I had an overall good experience. Learning in another language is tricky, and all my teachers were nice about that, and good at speaking to me at my level. I don't think I got the full blown russian teaching style, so my classes were not so different from the ones taught at my home university. The grading system was fair, and the classes were mostly fun!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our program was well organized, and someone was always available for help. The programs leaders listen and helped us with whatever we needed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was treated mostly as a clinet, but my host mom was really nice, fed me well, and lived in a great location.

* Food:

The food was the typical Russian diet, which I like, but am unaccustomed too. So what I had was delicious, and I felt very satisfied.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had a lot of trips packed into our three month stay, so sometimes it seemed like we were always busy, but I'm glad we did everything we did. In particular we went on a weekend cruise to lake ladaga, and valaam, which is one of the holiest places in russia. I was erally great getting this unique cultural experience, which is mostly a russian vacation.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt as safe as I have ever felt in a populated city. Our program advised us very well on how to keep safe, and I never felt threatened.

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

Language acquisition improvement?

Because it was the summer, most student and youth my age were not in school, and not in the city. This limited my speaking options. I did use russian everyday, and spoke with my host family and teachers.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Being in another country
* What could be improved?
  • More discussion between trip alumni, and students about to leave.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Definitely bring study materials, like your language textbook, and try to set aside time to study everyday.