Research Assistant in Moscow, Nine-Week Internship in Moscow program, SUNY Albany
I went to Russia in the Summer of 2011 as a student on the Nine-Week Internship in Moscow Program through SUNY Albany. Through the program, I took classes at The Russian Presidential Academy of the National Economy and Public Administration.
While in Moscow, I studied Russian Language for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. The program also allowed an optional class on Russian history, culture, and politics. Students have the option to take the class for credit by writing two papers on topics assigned by the professors. Lastly, all students had an internship. I worked as a research assistant for English language sources about Russian and NATO missile defenses for a professor at the Higher School of Economics.
Program also included weekly excursions to cultural sights in Moscow. Tours were offered in both English and Russian, based on the student's proficiency level. We visited the Moscow Kremlin, Tretiakov Gallery, and several different museums. One weekend, we went to the dacha of one of the professors. For an extra fee (usually under $150) I was able to travel to Vladimir and Suzdal with other students at the academy who had come to Russia from Georgia Tech. If you are interested in traveling anywhere else in Russia, the staff at ANE will be more than willing to help you. I travelled to St. Petersburg with three of my classmates, and one of the program interns went with us to buy our train tickets and book our hostel.
I lived with a host mom in an apartment building about a ten-minute walk away from the academy. My host mom was a widow and a professor of Russian language for foreign students, which was extremely helpful. She was always eager to talk and take excellent care of me. She would not go to bed until she knew I saw safely in for the evening and had a cup of tea.
My overall experience was extremely positive: I would recommend this program to anyone. My favorite thing about the trip was most likely my homestay. I enjoyed living "as a Russian." My host mom only spoke Russian, and spoke to me every night for at least an hour about her life in Russia. We would watch the news together, which also gave me insight into Russian culture and politics. Her seven-year-old granddaughter from Belgium came to visit, and I will never forget playing hide and go seek and other children's games in Russian with her.
Emily Elliott, '12