Office of International Programs

OIP Peer: Alana


Meet Alana

Hometown: Reedsville, PA
Studied AbroadSt. Petersburg, Russia – Summer 2015; Yaroslavl, Russia – Spring 2017
Concentration: Slavic Studies
Graduation: Spring 2018

Alana’s Experience Abroad

Q: Why did you study abroad?

A: I began studying Russian during my first semester at Brown and really wanted to experience the culture that I was learning about in my language classes. The Brown in St. Petersburg program was a perfect opportunity for me to do that and get ahead with my Russian language studies. I really fell in love with Russian culture, art and literature and knew that I wanted to go abroad again. When junior year rolled around, I decided to study abroad in the spring in Yaroslavl, Russia through Middlebury College. This program appealed to me because of the language pledge (I wasn’t allowed to speak English except to call home!). I chose Yaroslavl because it attracts much fewer tourists than St. Petersburg and Moscow and would give me a very real experience of everyday life in Russia.

Q: What is Yaroslavl like? 

A: Yaroslavl is more than 1,000 years old and that is quite apparent when you see it. There are dozens of old, gorgeous cathedrals and interesting artifacts. It is a small city; close to the size of Providence, and it is surrounded by two rivers which makes for some very scenic views. I had the opportunity to experience Russia in February, and it was the coldest winter I have ever experienced!

Q: What was your favorite course abroad?

A: Because I cannot pick just one, I will have to talk about two. I really loved my linguistics and culture class at the Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University. My professor was really good at showing us the uniqueness of Russian culture and its complexities and I left feeling like I understood the country I was in so much better. I also loved my GLISP about Russian Orthodoxy because it allowed me to explore a topic not taught at Brown and it taught me how to structure research.

Q: What do you miss about your time abroad?

A: Russian food! It is some of the most delicious comfort food I have ever had.

Q: If you were planning to study abroad again where would you go?

A: Krakow, Poland

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