Reflections by Julia

Written by Julia Kiseleva, a Junior at MSAU

Olya and her bunny ears
Easter Bunny Olya
(view a larger image)

Hello! My name is Julia. I want to tell everyone about my experience in the Russian-American Study Abroad program. I found out about this program two years ago from my friend who participated. Since she had such good experience I decided that I would like to also take part in this exchange program, if I had the chance.

This program was very exciting for me, because something was always new and interesting for me. This year we welcomed four students and three professors. They came in the middle of January. This is the time of the year that we usually have very cold weather and this year was no exception. When our Americans friends arrived they were surprised with the unusual weather. We had unusual volume of snow and cold wind. But the weather was not a hindrance for our program. We had a very great time. We skated on the Red Square. It was so sweet! I could not skate well and the guys always helped me. It was very funny. During the program we had many good days , for example, St. Valentines Day, February 23 (Men’s day), March 8 (Woman’s Day), and St. Patrick’s Day. So in this way we celebrated holidays from both countries. I found out a lot about American traditions and customs during the program. American student’s life is very different from life of Russian students. For example, we learned about strong tradition of American football and how important this is. Also we learned about how grades are awarded as the top grade in our system is a “5” as opposed to an "A". American students also have more freedom to select their curriculum. In addition, we had good professors, such as Dr. Buffington, Dr. Layfield, and Dr. Bruening.

We learned and worked together for four months. During four months my new friends became a part of my life. For me it will be very difficult to see them leave Moscow. During our time together we had skated, walked, shopped, and did many other things together. My advice for future students who are planning to take part in this program -Russia is waiting for you!!!! -In Russia you can meet our culture -taste Russian food -enjoy Russian holidays I hope to see my new friends again maybe in America!!!

Also in this Issue...

  • "Also, I increased my English language skills, I learned many new things about American culture and people, etc. We were also able to celebrate holidays – Russian and US holidays, together. These were very good experiences for both groups of students."
  • Nadezhda Laevskaya

    "John, he is very close to me as he is an artist too, very kind and sympathetic guy, when I was going to fast (for Russian Orthodox purposes) he wanted to join me, and he fasted for a day!"

  • "But in one day I realized that my Dad and John understood each other without any words. It was really crazy to see how they try to understand each other by gesticulation. It was so funny to see…"


Written by Nadezhda Laevskaya, a Junior at MSAU

My impressions of exchange-program:

It was my first experience studying with students from America. And as to be true I really very enjoyed this program. I would like to tell you new things I studied during communication with these sweet guys. 

I learned agricultural engineering, Web design, and mass media communication.  These are very important subjects for the future profession and to introduce you in life.

We had very interesting field trips. It is important to have practice and see how different enterprises use knowledge in agricultural sciences.  For future mechanic it’s very useful, I knew a lot about modern techniques and equipment  at  John Deere company, CLAAS, DeLaval and others. Dr. Buffington shared with us experience in agricultural from America. Dr. Layfield touch us to use different computer programs, to make Web sites ourselves. Dr. Bruening told us a lot about other countries, mass media communication, pictures, videos, and I suppose we made really very good introduction film.

And I would like to tell you about other very significant thing, it is Friendship.
It is very important, to my mind we became friends in a month, maybe two… it doesn’t matter, but when you are in trouble you know Dustin will come and help you write your German exercises…

Allison…. when she was ill, we didn’t think at all we just began to do what was possible, remember all our knowledge in medicine.
And of course shopping. You know Shopping very important for girls.)))
Glen is really very kind person, when I am sad, he comes to me and asks “Y tebja problemu?”
(Is anything wrong?).

Nadya and Dr. Layfield
Nadya receives her new "backpack"
from Dr. Layfield
(view a larger image)

John, he is very close to me as he is an artist too, very kind and sympathetic guy, when I was going to fast (for Russian Orthodox purposes) he wanted to join me, and he fasted for a day! It is really good result for the beginning.
They are all very responsive, and you know you can rely on them.

Life in Moscow is differing than life in America. You don’t eat salads, I mean with beef, eggs, also pel’meni, but you eat chilli, peeps and so on. It is funny to teach each other to cook our national meal, national customs.

It is funny to teach each other languages. Sometimes Russian girls can’t explain Russian spelling and pronunciation.  
We have a lot of fun being together.

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