Great Learning Experience but Take Your Own Initiative Past Review

By (Amherst College) - abroad from 01/07/2019 to 08/27/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Moscow

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained language skills and confidence about what it takes to learn a new language while living abroad or back home. Being able to push your comfort levels and explore a new environment has been extremely beneficial to me and I believe this experience was worthwhile.

Review Photos

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Moscow Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Simply adjusting to full immersion in Russian is difficult to adapt to -- however, the courses themselves were no particularly inspiring with the exception of grammar. Many of the courses were functionally helpful because we learned vocabulary but it felt at the expense of our actual intrigue in the courses. This is also due to the fact that there are few students in the course and each course must be tailored to a range of language levels.

* 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

Moscow is an incredibly diverse city that is growing rapidly. There are infinite ways for students to branch out and find spaces to discover no matter where you are. If you stick to the language pledge you will see just how much your language skills will grow and how much you can learn!


* 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? 60$
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you have a host family - don't eat out all the time if you can. Take advantage of meal time to get to know your family and save a couple dollars while you're at it. Find things to do that don't involve spending money to access it. For example, find neighborhoods in the city and explore them by foot - if you need to take a cab there do so - but make your day about exploring things and letting yourself wander a bit.


* 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

We only spoke in Russian

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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Russian 201
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Just immerse yourself completely -- Find Music, Movies, Television, Podcasts to listen to in your free time. Read news articles and follow art, culture, and history pages in the target language you'll be using. Don't be afraid to stutter, make mistakes, and not always know what to say. Listening to native speakers is also one of the most helpful things you can do. If you have a host family, make a point of speaking to them as much as you can. Ask questions that may seem silly (like those that a small child would ask such as "what is the meaning of that object?") and allow yourself to also become familiar with everyday words. Make it fun for yourself. Don't be too serious and if you say a phrase that doesn't make total sense laugh it off and try again.

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

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Russian Language and Culture
  • Travel in Russia
  • Friends
* What could be improved?
  • Course Structure and Content
  • Integration into Host Institutions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Make sure that if you have documentation on campus for needs check your documentation before leaving and also communicate that documentation to your host program prior to your departure.

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.'