It’s 12 o’clock on my last day of work at my on-campus summer job here at UPS. I’m sitting at my desk with a fan whirring beside me, googling how to go about writing a study abroad blog. I’ve never been one to keep a journal or diary so I’m hoping my posts won’t come across as too contrived. I guess to start out I should tell you a bit about myself.
I’m a 23 year old junior here at UPS. I’m an international business major, just started playing rugby here this past semester, and for the past year have been planning to study abroad in Russia. I don’t speak the language, have never traveled to the country, and do not know anyone who lives there. Probably the top two responses I’ve received when talking with others about my plans are: “Why Russia?” and “That’s crazy man.”
You know, the more I begin to think about it maybe it is a little crazy. It wasn’t until a year ago I had even considered studying abroad when my faculty advisor strongly suggested I consider doing so, referring to it as a “once in a lifetime, life changing experience.” As for why, I don’t really have a one tell-all response that can sum things up. Sure Russian cuisine isn’t world renowned, the tap water in St. Petersburg may be contaminated with an intestinal virus and heavy metals, and during the winter the temperature drops below freezing, but that’s just focusing on the negative aspects of the situation. I’ve created the opportunity, for an entire academic year, to immerse myself in a completely new culture that I’ve always been curious about.
At the moment I only have a few goals while studying abroad, but I’m sure this list will grow:
-Learn the language
-Be assigned a babushka during my homestay
-Travel the Trans Siberian Railway
-Volunteer at the Hermitage Museum
As for the frequency of my blog posts, ideally I would like to post at least bi-monthly. I’ll try to post as many photos as I can, and candidly share my experiences. Most sources recommend that a travel or study abroad blog be designed with a recurring theme, but at the moment I’m still trying to figure out what that should be. This is my first time blogging…any thoughts or suggestions? If you have any requests for things you want me to find out while I’m there, feel free to email me!