Semester in Yaroslavl August 04, 2017

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/01/2017 to 05/19/2017 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Yaroslavl

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I improved my language skills and my understanding of Russian culture, and learned what it's like to live abroad. It was definitely 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.

* 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?

I didn't have any healthcare issues, so can't really comment.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

The program was well-organized and delivered on its promises. All the program directors were competent and fun to be around. I also enjoyed being in Yaroslavl as well as the trips we took.

Finances

* 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)

Aside from rent, there wasn't too much to spend money on besides food and phone service, which are both quite cheap.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $25-35

Language

* 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 were supposed to only use Russian

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
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? I did a Middlebury summer language school program and was in the 6th level out of 7.
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Minimize social media and internet use. Commit to engaging with entertainment sources, to the extent that you do, in the target language, ie find music, movies, and books in the language rather than going back to your favorites. This can be difficult to do for a whole semester, but I think it's worth it.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* 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?
  • The classes
  • The excursions
  • Program director and fellow students were enthusiastic
* What could be improved?
  • I was required to take an actual Russian university course, which was a bit too challenging for me and consequently accounted for the majority of my stress.
  • The weather
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Most things aren't as hard to do as you think they are before you do them, so don't be too nervous. Also, specifically for Russia, use https://cyberleninka.ru/ for Russian-language scholarly sources. It's a great site, and before I found it locating these types of sources for papers was very difficult for me.

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!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Grammar

Course Department: Philology
Instructor: Irina Viktorovna
Instruction Language: Russian
Comments: The course was sufficiently challenging and had a decent amount of homework and tests. The instructor was effective and always well-prepared.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues
Course Name/Rating:

Phonetics

Course Department: Russian Language
Instructor: Irina Viktorovna
Instruction Language: Russian
Comments: This course was not especially challenging, but was useful practice for developing proper phonetics and intonation.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues
Course Name/Rating:

Foreign Policy of USSR in Europe 1933-41

Course Department: History
Instructor: M.V. Novikov
Instruction Language: Russian
Comments: Very interesting course, no homework aside from one final paper assignment. Instructor has experience working with foreign students, moved at an appropriate pace.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues
Course Name/Rating:

Linguoculturology

Course Department: Philology
Instructor: Svetlana Yurievna
Instruction Language: Russian
Comments: Not especially challenging, but interesting. Class is mostly discussion based, focusing on learning words that are important to Russian culture and discussing cultural differences.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues
Course Name/Rating:

History of Yaroslavl Krai

Course Department: History
Instructor: N. V. Dutov
Instruction Language: Russian
Comments: This is an actual Russian university course as opposed to a course for foreign students, as such it was pretty difficult for me to keep up. That material which I did understand was interesting, but I would only recommend this course to students who already know Russian VERY well.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues
Course Name/Rating:

Modern Russian History and Contemporary Politics

Course Department:
Instructor: O. I. Zaczepina
Instruction Language: Russian
Comments: This course was not too challenging, although the term paper was a lot of work. Olga Ivanovna is very enthusiastic and opinionated, and class discussions usually kind of wandered across various topics rather than sticking to one theme. However, this class had numerous excellent field trips to various local sites (political party headquarters, the state Duma, youth organizations, churches, etc. I would recommend the course.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues