That was ridiculously fun, 10/10 would do again. Past Review

By (Texas A&M University - College Station) - abroad from 05/28/2018 to 08/03/2018 with

SRAS: Study Russian as a Second Language

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a ton of friends, that’s for sure. Don’t know what I learned. It was definitely worthwhile, though.

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.

I have no idea what side is good or bad, but I’m assuming right side is good, left is bad. I rather enjoyed it, although the teacher and his style was rather different to an American teacher. Once you get used to the teacher being very direct in criticizing you, and once you realize it’s not personal, it’s pretty fine.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very attentive, has tons of programs in the city that are very enjoyable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Very good, although not as good as American standards. The Moscow dorms were apparently horrific, with rats and other stuff, but St. Petersburg was phenomenal.

* Food:

All fairly cheap when compared to American food, and although Russian food itself is pretty bland, Georgian food, as in food from the nation of Georgia, is excellent. Also, Russian lagers are pretty awesome.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt pretty integrated, but I didn’t speak the language flawlessly, so I didn’t feel completely integrated.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had any problems, but those who did had it taken care of easily.

* Safety:

Russia was insanely safe, especially because I was there during the FIFA World Cup. There were cops everywhere, and they weren’t actually harassing people, as one may expect if they stereotyped Russia, but they actually were being policemen. Of 52 people, there for 11 weeks, nobody had any wallets stolen, nor any phones. We were the first group this had happened to, but that’s still pretty impressive.

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

The SRAS people were super good at putting together programs, and the St. Petersburg program in particular was excellent. Apparently, in the 3 day extra program that most of us went on to Moscow, we saw more in Moscow than the Moscow program kids did.


* 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)

Pretty good, but not as cheap as it could’ve been.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Oddly enough, I don’t actually know.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Booze is expensive. Pregame in the dorms with cheaper stuff bought at the nearby grocery stores, makes bar hopping immensely cheaper.


* 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

I wish my teacher had forced me to use more Russian in class, but alas. Still did pretty well.

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? Russian 202, so sophomore level.
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? Watch Russian movies/English movies with Russian subtitles or dubbing.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Other
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Programs/events offered
  • University at which classes were held and we stayed
  • Teachers for classes
* What could be improved?
  • Amount of Russian spoken in class
  • The particular things seen in optional Moscow trip
  • Have assigned local Russian students to help out
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How to say the polite-er version of ‘fuck off’ in Russian. Very useful phrase for handling drunks.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.