Malisa Manning
Malisa Manning

Mama in Moscow!

Written by Malisa Manning, a Louisiana State University Sophomore

In some study abroad programs family is discouraged from visiting their student because it is said to damage the cultural experience.  The complete opposite is true of this program.  From the very beginning, all of the staff involved in this program encouraged me to ask and even offered to help my parents come visit.  So it was that my mother, Amy Manning, and her teaching colleague, Terry Wickman, made plans to visit during their spring break.  After some fancy finagling with the Russian embassy (my mother was especially grateful to Dr. Layfield for all his help with the visas), travel agents, and last minute requests from candy-hungry students, the two women were set for their trip to Russia.  Katya, one of our Russian classmates, went with me to pick them up from the airport, for which I am eternally grateful because I would probably still be sitting in the metro, wondering how to order a bus ticket to the airport when I finally found the right stop.  As it was, we met up with them right on time.  They had a choice between staying in the hostel with us (for a relatively cheap price) or staying in a hotel.  They opted for the hotel, not wanting to bother us during

Dinner at the Hilton with Malisa’s mom
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Dinner at the Hilton with Malisa’s mom.

our studies.  The Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya is a beautiful hotel that has English speaking staff and deals with international customers on a daily basis.  Not only did they make the stay enjoyable for Mom and Mrs. Wickman, but they also helped plan excursions, gave directions, and were very informative about where to visit. 

Now, we Americans found ourselves in an interesting position during that week.  Our Russian classmates had classes and while we had classes too, most of ours were cut short or ended up canceled.  This led to the American students playing tour guide in Moscow!  We used what we had learned about the city to show the two adults around whenever we were out of class.  I had the pleasure of leading them around Red Square, through G.U.M. and St. Basil’s Cathedral, and even through the Armory inside the Kremlin!  It was quite the week, winding down to a last farewell dinner, held at the Hilton’s restaurant at my mother and Mrs. Wickman’s request.  All of the American students came and we spent a lovely evening with lively conversation and excellent food.

Also in this Issue...

  • Vperyod Rossiya! My S Toboy!by Chris Olvey
    "The World Cup is the biggest soccer tournament in the world and every country gets a chance to win it... We took the metro to get to the match and that is where I began to see the true passion Russians have for their team. Scores of people were packed into the metro cars that were heading for Luzkniki and were singing and cheering all the way to the stadium."
  • Coke Floats for the World! by Blaise NIcklas
    "When we arrived at the program, on the second floor of our canteen, we found that the visiting students each had a table representing their respective country.  In attendance were students from Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and China."
  • Undecided Weather by Aidan Lowe
    "Just last Sunday, I was strolling around Red Square in a light jacket and jeans. Now, I feel that I cannot leave the hostel without a hat, gloves, and my winter coat."

  • Issue Photographer: William Nelson

  • Issue Reviewer: Blaise Nicklas

Coke Floats for the World!

Written by Blaise Nicklas, an Edinboro University Junior attending Penn State this semester

Blaise Nicklas
Blaise Nicklas

About a month ago, the Russian students asked us about attending a program that would be hosted by other international students visiting MSAU.  We quickly agreed and were told that all we needed to do to participate was prepare some kind of traditional American food to share at the program.  We considered baking an apple pie, but eventually logistics pared back our plans.  An attempt at M&M cookies also fizzled.  Malisa suggested making ice cream floats using Coca Cola and vanilla ice cream.  The Coke floats were simple to make and ended up being a hit with the international students.  When we arrived at the program, on the second floor of our canteen, we found that the visiting students each had a table representing their respective country.  In attendance were students from Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and China.  MSAU students also represented Russia.  We set up our own table and started pouring the Coke floats. 

They were such a success that Chris and I went back to the hostel to retrieve our extra packs of ice cream.  Later, we sampled dishes prepared by the other students.  We tried long, thin crackers from Belarus, meats and cheeses from Poland, tea from China, and a number of candies from Sweden and Finland.  It was fascinating for us to speak with the other students and get their perspective on studying in Russia.  I was amazed at how many languages some of them spoke.  It wasn’t unusual to meet someone who was fluent in three or even four languages.  As the program wound down, each country’s students led the group in a song or dance number of their respective nation.  We had been told of this only earlier that day, but Aidan, Chris, and William performed an impromptu Clemson cadence count, which dates back to Clemson’s military origins.  The international students cheered exuberantly following their lively performance. 

Group photo from international social
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A group photo, which has representatives from three continents and nine countries.

We all enjoyed our evening with the visiting students and I hope that they learned as much from us as we were able to learn from them.


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