Russia - pretty cool place November 18, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/07/2019 to 04/26/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Yaroslavl

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My language skills improved, my cultural awareness improved. I got to meet a ton of Russian people and eat Russian food. I got to live in a pretty big city, which I had never done before. A very worthwhile program.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

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?

Didn't get as much language practice as I had hoped. Still a good experience.

* 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 need any real healthcare

* Safety:

City is very safe. I never had any issues in the city. Only advice I have is avoid drunk Russians at night if possible, they can react unpredictably if they find out you are American.

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

I had an awesome experience in Russia. It was eye-opening, especially in terms of culture. Maybe that's cliche, but, although it was challenging at times, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.


* 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? $20?
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat in the stolovaya at the university if you can. You can get a lot of food for cheap


* 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? 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? Second year courses
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? Put in the work in America before you leave to have the smoothest transition to studying in Russia. That said, the program was quite good at adjusting the level of courses so that they were manageable but still challenging.

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?
  • The people - fellow students, Russians, teachers, Middlebury staff
  • The food! Surprisingly good haha
  • The city
* What could be improved?
  • More group excursions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There is no "universal" study abroad experience, even in the same program at the same site. Everyone will have a very different experience, and that is ok. Go in with an open mind, do your work for class, and enjoy the ride.

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:


Course Department:
Instructor: Larissa Vladimirovna
Instruction Language: Russian
Comments: This was an awesome class. At the end of the semester we took a field trip to the monastery in town. There is a bear who lives there. That's all I need to say. A great class, expect to do a lot of writing, which is of course very helpful for improving written Russian skills. Professor is awesome.
Credit Transfer Issues:
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Course Department:
Instructor: Irina Viktorivna
Instruction Language: Russian
Comments: Phoentics class. Not much work, it was mostly a pronunciation class. Some assignments including memorizing poems and reciting stories. Make sure to actually memorize this stuff!! It will greatly improve your language skills.
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Course Department:
Instructor: Irina Vitalevna
Instruction Language: Russian
Comments: Classic grammar course. We did exercises and went over them. Professor was cool. Mandatory course, will definitely shore up your grammar. Make sure to keep up with the homework. I don't love grammar but I did enjoy this course.
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Course Department:
Instructor: Ольга Ивановна
Instruction Language: Russian
Comments: This course was great. The professor was very knowledgeable and engaging. Discussions could be a little all over the place but they were awesome. We took a bunch of field trips to meet local government officials, all of whom were very knowledgeable and friendly. We had short response papers and one long (10 page) final paper. Highly recommend this class, it was a blast.
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Course Department:
Instructor: Светлана Юревна
Instruction Language: Russian
Comments: This course was amazing! I would highly recommend. The teacher was excellent. I participated in class more than I would have at Midd, Светлана Юревна was really good at getting students to speak up. Great classroom atmosphere.
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