Truly life-changing introduction to the world of Russia Past Review

By (Chemistry / Russian, The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 07/07/2012 to 08/11/2012 with

University of Texas - Austin: Moscow - Moscow Plus Summer Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to live outside of my comfort zone. In that sense, I feel as if I had learned to live in general. Having to rely on and have faith in yourself to navigate a foreign culture safely matures one drastically. I feel as if Russia made a man out of me. Also, having to actively take advantage of any amount of free time and explore the city taught me to do the same in my own city. Never again will I take my life and the opportunities given to me for granted.

Review Photos

University of Texas - Austin: Moscow - Moscow Plus Summer Program Photo University of Texas - Austin: Moscow - Moscow Plus Summer Program Photo University of Texas - Austin: Moscow - Moscow Plus Summer Program Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

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?

* Safety:

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)

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Get a fridge so that you can eat dinner in the dorm.


* 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
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? Try as hard as you can to speak only Russian with each other.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • Living in Moscow
  • All of the money allocated toward cultural experiences
  • Being forced to speak Russian in order to navigate the city
* What could be improved?
  • The amount of time in class was ridiculously excessive
  • There was hardly even one day a week completely free to explore the city and meet people
  • There should be more venues to help meet Russians other than the tutor program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The guidebook provided by the University of Texas at Austin is incorrect about many things. Namely, the type of clothes to wear. Russians wear whatever they feel like. Obviously students shouldn't bring sweatpants or really baggy jeans or anything, but shorts and flip-flops are totally fine. So are SNEAKERS. I was under the impression wearing shorts and sneakers is the worst thing that would call attention to myself, but because I didn't pack them, I really hurt my feet from walking in uncomfortable shoes. Also, studying vocab is the most important thing one can do to prepare for living in Russia. Grammar means nothing if you don't know any words.