It has been several more weeks of living and studying in St. Petersburg since my last blog, and only two short weeks until I go home. Although two weeks out of an eight-week program sound like a lot, it really is not. Between now and when I go home, I will have finished classes, taken my exams, and enjoyed a fun trip to Moscow for the week. This has truly been an amazing summer. I am proud to say that my Russian has also improved quite a lot since I arrived. From struggling to talk at all, to now being able to understand most of what is said to me and even being able to reply. Although I have a long way to go, I am proud to say I have improved and feel like I am a stronger speaker. However, since I am leaving soon, I feel it is appropriate to recount some of my favorite moments from my time in St. Petersburg.
One of my favorite moments came from my first time trying Georgian cuisine. I had gone out to lunch with a friend before going on one of our weekly excursions. I am glad I went with a friend who had Georgian cuisine before, as he helped order some of the dishes that we ate, and it was an amazing time. I enjoyed everything, especially the Georgian lemonade and all the main entrees we ordered. I have decided that I want to get Georgian cuisine again before I fly home, as I am not sure when I will have another opportunity to taste such amazing food.
I have also had the opportunity to have seen many of the iconic sights in St. Petersburg and the entire area. I think my favorite sights include the Hermitage and the Peterhof Palace and gardens. What I enjoyed most about the Hermitage was more than just the artwork that can be found there, but also the architecture of the palace. The beauty and intricacy found in every room of the Winter Palace and Hermitage museum is some of the most beautiful architectural designs I have ever seen. It was truly my favorite aspect of the museum. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed seeing the rare collections of art, as these works are some of the most beautiful pieces of art found in the world. In terms of Peterhof, I truly enjoyed the entire garden and seeing the beautiful fountains and coming to better understand how the entire system works without the need for a single pump. Overall, these sights, along with many more, have provided for some amazing experiences.
When I finally go home, I plan to continue my studies in the Russian language and history as I hope to come back to Russia during the spring to study here for a whole semester. Although I have no doubts that I want to come back, I am torn between coming back to St. Petersburg or to spend my semester in Moscow. Therefore, I am really looking forward to our trip to Moscow as it will help me decide where I want to study for another several months. I know I was already in St. Petersburg for a summer, but I know there is more in the city than I can see in one short summer, but I also know Moscow has just as many interesting sights and experiences. I cannot wait for the experiences and learning that lie ahead in the next year.
By: Charles Sedore
Program: Advanced Russian Language & Area Studies Program, St. Petersburg, Russia
Term: Summer 2019