Taking two semesters of Russian at Duke during my freshman year, I was fortunate to spend time studying and living in St. Petersburg, Russia this summer.
Our group attended class daily, but the highlight of my experience was supplementing classroom learning with extracurricular exploration of St. Petersburg’s culture and history by touring the Hermitage, visiting Peterhof Palace, attending a ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre; just to name some of the most memorable moments. I also loved meeting local university students and spending time speaking Russian, visiting less touristy spots like the “anti-time café” with them, and immersing myself in local culture and food.
Immediately after returning from Russia, I have been practicing speaking Russian with my grandmother and hope to take more Russian classes at Duke to continue learning the language and culture. Some of the students participating in Duke-in-Russia volunteered with the elderly and visually impaired for DukeEngage and I hope to apply and participate in that program with my improved Russian speaking skills.
Everyone should experience studying abroad, especially when learning a foreign language. My advice is: Do not hesitate to interact with locals. Do it as much as possible to immerse yourself as fully as possible.
Class of 2022, Psychology and Global Health