Hi, my name is Jake Groves. I’m a senior English Literature and Russian Studies double major. I spent last semester studying abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia through AIFS (American Institute for Foreign Studies). While in Russia I studied at the St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University, where I focused on language studies but also took courses in Russian history, Russian literature and contemporary Russian issues. Although home stays were an option, I chose to live in a dorm with students from Finland, Germany, Bulgaria, Croatia, Spain, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia and England. Who would think that dorm life could be so exciting!
St. Petersburg is a city rich in culture and history. Each weekend our group went on a cultural excursion, visiting the Dostoevsky museum, Pushkin museum, the Hermitage, the Russian museum, Pavlovsk, Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin) and several other museums and monuments. Beyond these program-sponsored trips, students were given travel passes (for free rides on the metro and buses) each month and encouraged to explore the city on their own. Going to a new area and exploring on foot was one of my favorite pastimes! Our group also took day trips to Novgorod and Peterhof, as well as longer visits to Moscow, Helsinki (Finland) and Tallinn (Estonia).
Experiencing Russia made me a more confident and accepting person, as well as helped me decide to pursue a career which involves my Russian Studies. No matter the country, cultural exchange can lead to personal growth and a greater understanding of our world. Come talk to us at the Buckman Center (lower level Burrow) and discover your destination!
Want to set up a meeting with Jake? Contact him here!