The Greatest Adventure

Check out this photo blog from our OPIT participant, Chase Neese!

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The first excursion of my abroad experience was to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Wow, what an immense structure I kept thinking to myself. I love how this cathedral perfectly highlights the beauty of the onion dome architecture of the Orthodox Church.
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After a wonderful Georgian lunch, the same day, we headed to the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. After visiting here, I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed viewing modern art. I always thought I was more of an impressionist fan but after this trip, I gained a newfound appreciation for Russian modern art. I now would love to visit the MOMA in New York City.
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The following day, I was able to have some time to myself and explore the city – I, of course, decided to visit Red Square. While there for the first time, I can explicitly remember feeling so taken back by the history of where I was standing. The architecture of the State Historic Museum is incredible. Though the actual square itself was closed due to a concert pertaining to the World Cup, just being next to the historic museum was something special.
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On this day, I visited Moscow International University, where I study, for the first time to receive my студенческий билет. Fortunately, it only happens to be about a 10 minute walk from my host mother’s home near Dinamo metro. After my tour, I walked around the nearby area and at lunch at a wonderful Georgian restaurant named Acha Cha Cha.
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After the festivities were over and Red Square was open to the public, I was finally able to see St. Basil’s Cathedral in all its glory up close and personal. The excitement I had felt while simply being around Red Square the other was no comparison as to the excitement in that moment. When I was actually able to step foot on the square, it was quite possibly one of the most overwhelming but memorable experiences here.
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With the World Cup being held in Russia this year, I have been able to network with many people from all around the world attending the games here in Moscow. This aspect, in particular, has greatly contributed to the fact that this experience, so far, has been one of the most influential in shaping my world view. My involvement in this American Councils program is something I will be forever grateful for and will cherish the rest of my life.
Though I wasn’t able to watch any soccer match in person, the festivities on the streets, specifically, Nikolskaya, have been absolutely wonderful. The lights strung from the roofs in combination of street performers made for such a festive atmosphere. Throughout this trip, I’ve met so many incredible friends that I hope to stay connected with when I return to the United States.
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After spending almost 3 weeks in Moscow, I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t found this place sooner. This is the newly renovated Зарядье Park and it has now become one of my favorite spots in the city. The view is absolutely stunning and it is the perfect place to bring a book and some food for lunch. I’ve spent hours and hours at this place and will absolutely be one of the first places I visit on my next trip to Moscow.  


By: Chase Neese

Program: Overseas Professional and Intercultural Training Program

Term: Summer 2018

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