My name is Joseph McElroy and I am participating in the USF in Russia summer 2015 program. I am an undergraduate student working on degrees in Russian and Music, with a minor in Linguistics. I’ve just completed my third year of college but have two more left because of my double major.
I chose this program (and Russian degree) because it is my goal to become fluent in the language. I plan to go into linguistics for graduate school. Because this is my first time studying abroad, I am looking forward to being surprised, finding unexpected things, and gaining new experiences. The program will last for about 30 days (from May 11th to June 10th), and as you can see I’m already in Russia right now. The weather is fantastic; so much nicer than Florida’s excessive heat and humidity.
We will be travelling to Moscow and St. Petersburg, spending the majority of our time at Moscow State University (МГУ). My language classes are Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 1:00, and on Wednesday I have a singing class from 2:30 to 4:00, designed to teach pronunciation and cultural stories and history through music (which ties in really well with my music degree). The architecture of the building is amazing, and was built during the time of Stalin.
My flight took me from Tampa to Washington D.C. to Brussels to Moscow. For my first transatlantic flight, the jet lag wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it might be. My dorm room has a great view out to the front of the building; a security guard just let a truck in through the entrance gate, and the clouds are a greyish-purple colour. Now it is time for breakfast.