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St. Petersburg, Russia – End Of Days

Context: In the summer of ’09 after my sophomore year at college I studied abroad for 8 weeks in St. Petersburg, Russia. I frequently wrote updates home (once a week), and this is one of those updates. I am adding this here because this is our travel website and I want it to be a collection of our travels, however, it’s important to know that I wrote these years ago without the intention of them ever being part of a travel website. They are not representative of our future work, but maybe you will enjoy reading them and get a taste of what it can be like to study abroad. Hope you enjoy!

The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become, until he goes abroad. I speak now, of course, in the supposition that the gentle reader has not been abroad, and therefore is not already a consummate ass.

Mark Twain, part of travelog from his trip to Egypt.

Eight weeks in Russia and in exactly two days from now I’ll be boarding my flight to spend the rest of my summer on American soil (and what a sweet soil that is!). How have I changed in this time? Well, my lungs have probably aged about two years from all of the smoking that takes place in this country. My Russian has improved, though, admittedly, is still far from fluent. My understanding of Russian people and culture has probably decreased from when I arrived, and I think I leave Russia with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth on account of some of the rudeness and unfriendliness I’ve experienced during my stay. This really only pertains to the older generation, kids my age were generally really nice. What happens here in transition from teenage years to adulthood I’ll never know.

Cemetery - St. Petersburg, Russia

In a cemetery, Dostoyevsky? - St. Petersburg, Russia

Although I’m ready to go home (as is basically everyone in this program), I can’t say I won’t miss certain aspects of this country/program when I’m gone. It isn’t that I don’t think I’ll go back to Russia at some point in my life, though who knows when, but when I do, it will be different. Not necessarily good or bad, just different. Experiences like these really only happen once in a life time, and when they’re over, we’ll, they’re over, and it’s weird, and I can’t really think of a more eloquent way to put it and I don’t want to. It’s kind of like a mini graduation. When you leave high school, you know you’re never going to be back there, even though it was such a big part of your life. That is sort of how this is, but on a smaller scale of course.

What else is there to say?

Hopefully I didn’t make too much of an ass out of myself.

Study Abroad Program - St. Petersburg, Russia

Study Abroad Program - St. Petersburg, Russia

Want to read more about Dave’s Study Abroad Program in St. Petersburg, Russia?
Letter 1: St. Petersburg, Russia – Arriving in Foreign Territory
Letter 2: St. Petersburg, Russia – Starting Class
Letter 3: St. Petersburg, Russia – The White Nights
Letter 4: St. Petersburg, Russia – Some Things Lost Some Things Gained
Letter 5: St. Petersburg, Russia – New Friendships
Letter 6: St. Petersburg, Russia – Beach For July 4th
Letter 7: St. Petersburg Study, Russia – phhh Piskov
Letter 8: St. Petersburg, Russia – End Of Days

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