William Nelson
William Nelson

Time Flies

Written by William Nelson, a Clemson University Sophomore

Our time in Russia began by sitting in our classroom having a meal that our Russian classmates had prepared for us, joking around and getting to know each other. Our classroom is the hub of our activities; it is where we meet for classes and use the Internet.
Recently we walked in to our classroom and on the board there was a message, “One month together!!” It does not seem that we have been on the ground in Moscow for a month, but time truly flies when you’re having fun.  The first weeks of our time in Moscow was spent visiting museums and sights around the city, getting settled into our new life as international students, and beginning our classes. 

Celebration of one month anniversary
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Celebrating our one month anniversary.

As soon as we arrived in Moscow, our fellow Russian classmates took us in and have been the most hospitable hosts imaginable. After doing all the touristy things, we began our classes. This month we are in a class about using agricultural extension to spur development in developing countries and we are still taking our intensive Russian language course. Once classes began, the time flew right before our eyes. Without much care paid to the matter, our first month anniversary came and went, but our Russian classmates who are constantly trying to be the best hosts that they can be remembered our one month anniversary.
            Walking down the hallway, we were surrounded by our Russian classmates and friends, unaware of what awaited us when we entered the classroom. Earlier that evening, several of our classmates had purchased sweets and cakes. We entered the room and balloons were hung from the walls, cakes were on the table, and the Russians began preparing tea for everyone.  We wrapped up our one month celebration by sitting around joking, much like we began our stay in Moscow.

Also in this Issue...

  • The Tretyakov Gallery by Chris Olvey
    "When we got into the gallery our coats were taken and we were given purple booties to wear over our shoes to protect the floor from the gallery’s many visitors.  The art exhibits ranged from small paintings to murals that covered entire walls.  We were also very surprised by the inexpensive price of seeing all of this classic art, which was about $1.75 USD...."
  • ProcastiNation by Aidan Lowe
    "Another difference in education involves our attitudes regarding homework. Although we are loathe to admit it, Americans are a bit lazy when it comes to homework...."
  • Grey Skies Shinin’ on Me by Malisa Manning
    "One (snowball fight) in particular became rather heated when, while walking back from the world finals of the FIS Freestyle skiing competition, a Russian student launched a surprise assault from behind on our unsuspecting group...."

  • Issue Photographer: Aidan Lowe

  • Issue Reviewer: Blaise Nicklas


Written by Aidan Lowe, a Clemson University Sophomore

Aidan Lowe
Aidan Lowe

On the surface, education in Russia and the U.S. seems quite similar. There are long days full of classes, long nights full of homework, and the majority of the weekend can easily be spent cramming for a test. However, as we have been in Moscow for one month, I have definitely noticed some differences in education. For example, the Russian students were quite surprised on the first day of class when our teacher utilized PowerPoint presentations and YouTube videos as tools to illustrate our lesson. They were even more confused when we had to break into groups to make presentations before the class. We discussed the differences in lecture styles over lunch that day. The Russians explained that they are accustomed to a professor standing in front of the class and lecturing. The handouts and media devices that our professor used to enhance the material amazed them. And Russians never have group work.

Another difference in education involves our attitudes regarding homework. Although we are loathe to admit it, Americans are a bit lazy when it comes to homework.

We usually wait until the last minute to finish our assignments. On the other hand, the Russians are ready to jump on the homework the minute we are dismissed from class. They always want to know when we are going to start our homework! They don’t seem to comprehend that to us, the prime time to complete these tasks is around midnight the night before they are due. On more than one occasion, our Russian classmates have completed papers ten days before they were due!

Natasha and Chris Olvey studing in classroom
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Natasha and Chris studying Russian language

One experience that was new for both the American and Russian students occurred Tuesday in our International Agriculture and Development class. We divided into groups and interviewed another Russian student from the agricultural university to learn their opinion on international agriculture and development. It was interesting to find what college students in Russia thought about their agricultural extension service and the practice of sustainable agriculture.  The semi-structured interview was a good way to employ some of the development techniques we were covering in class while making new friends!


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