Connecticut College TRIP to Russia, March 6-15, 2009
The Connecticut College TRIP (Traveling Research and Immersion Program) to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Novgorod will provide a language and cultural immersion experience for the eleven students in the Elementary Russian sequence, RUS 101-102. The TRIP will place students squarely into the mainstream of everyday Russian life, striking a balance between “universal” experiences (buying groceries, browsing at a bookstore, seeing a movie, meeting with people at a local cafe) and culturally-specific activities (observing International Women’s Day on March 8, making pelmeni, going to the public baths, meeting with the director of a women's crisis center, doing art projects with children from area orphanages, taking the night train from Moscow to St. Petersburg), exemplifying Connecticut College’s mission of “educating students to put the liberal arts into action as citizens in a global society.”
Key features of the TRIP include daily encounters and conversations with people from all walks of life—university students, activists, tour guides, shop keepers, children, train conductors—even the U.S. Ambassador to Russia! Students will complete daily language tasks, keeping a diary as they do so to record their communicative efforts and outcomes. The TRIP will also give students the opportunity to visit some of the major monuments of Russian history—the Moscow Kremlin, the Arbat, the Cold War Museum, the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Hermitage Museum, Yusupov Palace, and the Museum of the Siege of Leningrad—bringing history to life.
Before the TRIP, each student will conduct research for a brief presentation to be given during the trip on one of the historic sites, holidays, or cultural monuments to be encountered during the trip. Topics include International Women's Day, Red Square, local cuisines (Russian, Armenian), Novgorod, the Cold War, Catherine the Great, and Rasputin. Students participating in the TRIP have been communicating regularly with their Russian "Skype partners" from the St. Petersburg School of Economics (Высшая Школа Экономики), whom they will visit in person during the second part of the TRIP.
Special thanks to Shirley Parson, Chris Penniman, Diane Creede, and Don Blevins at Connecticut College; to Renee Stillings, Josh Wilson, and Lisa Horner at the School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS); to Irina Schemeleva and her students at the St. Petersburg School of Economics; to Natalia Ivanovna at the Russian Association of Crisis Centers for Women; to Natasha Khasanova and the children at Maria's Children Arts Center; to Sasha, Kirill, Valeria, and Sergei—our cultural experts in Moscow and St. Petersburg; and to Ambassador John Beyrle and his staff at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. We are grateful to all of them for their generous gift of time, help, and expertise in making this trip a rare and superb learning opportunity.
ITINERARY (updated 3/5/09)
FRIDAY, MARCH 6
Depart Connecticut College for JFK at 2:00 p.m.
Depart NY (JFK) 8:20 p.m. (overnight flight).
Language task: Order meals and beverages (in Russian) from the flight attendants.
SATURDAY, MARCH 7
Arrive Moscow (Sheremetyevo 1) 1:25 p.m.
4:00 Drop bags at apartments on Tverskaya
5:00 Walking tour along Tverskaya; buy breakfast supplies for next day
6:30 Dinner at MuMu
8:00 p.m. Evening tea with Sasha—Muscovite, interior designer, and all around great guy—to discuss current events in Russia
Language tasks: Buy materials for breakfast at Eliseevsky Gastronom; order dinner at Mu Mu; ask Sasha a question.
SUNDAY, MARCH 8
8:00 Breakfast in apartments
8:30 Morning meeting. Presentations: Red Square (Roman); International Women's Day (Masha)
9:00 Walk down Tverskaya to Red Square to observe International Women's Day
10:30 Take the metro to Izmailovsky Park (Moscow’s largest open air market) for souvenir shopping
1:00 lunch on your own at Izmailovo
4:00-5:00 Meeting with Ambassador John Beyrle
6:00-8:00 Group dinner in apartments
8:00-midnight Free time (sleep recommended to recover from jet lag)
Language tasks: Buy a souvenir at Izmailovo; wish someone a Happy International Women's Day; Introduce yourself in Russian during the Embassy visit.
MONDAY, MARCH 9
8:00 Breakfast and morning meeting in apartments. Presentations: The Moscow Kremlin (Larisa); Russian cuisine (Sonya)
9:00 Leave for the Kremiln
9:45 Meet Valeria for a tour of the Moscow Kremlin grounds, cathedrals, and armoury
2:00-4:00 Cooking class—pelmeni!
4:00-8:00 Free time; dinner on your own
8:00 Outing with Kirill (Проект О.Г.И.? http://www.proektogi.ru/)
Language tasks: Ask a question during the Kremlin tour; speak to the instructor of our cooking class in Russian; order dinner; purchase a beverage at O.G.I.
TUESDAY, MARCH 10
8:00 a.m. Breakfast in apartments
8:30 Morning meeting. Presentations: the Cold War (Konstantin); the Arbat (Leva); domestic violence and women's activism in Russia (Andrea); child services in contemporary Russia (Andrea)
9:45 Meet Lisa at metro Pushkinskaya
10:30-12:00 Tour of the Cold War Museum
1:00-3:00 Lunch with Natalia Ivanovna, Director of the Russian Association of Crisis Centers for Women
3:30-6:00 visit with Natasha Khasanova and the children at Maria's Children Arts Center
6:00-9:00 Free time, dinner on your own
9:30 p.m. Pick up bags from apartments
11:30 Board night train to St. Petersburg (at Leningradsky vokzal)
Language tasks: buy breakfast materials for the trip to St. Petersburg; ask a question at the Cold War Museum; ask a question of Natalia Ivanovna during lunch; talk and do art projects with children at Maria's Children Arts Center
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11
7:40 a.m. arrive St. Petersburg; take bus to apartments
8:30 Morning meeting. Presentation: Rasputin and Yusupov Palace (Valya); Armenian cuisine (Zoya)
9:00-12:00 Bus tour of St. Petersburg
12:00-1:00 Lunch at Cafe Stolle
1:00-2:30 Tour of Yusupov Palace
3:30-5:30 Meeting with students at St. Petersburg School of Economics
6:00-9:00 Dinner at Armenian restaurant "Ararat"
Language tasks: Ask a question of the conductor on the train; greet our guide in Russian; ask a question during the Yusupov tour; speak with students at the St. Petersburg School of Economics
THURSDAY, MARCH 12
9:30 Morning meeting. Presentations: Peter and Paul Fortress (Valya); Peter the Great (Vera); the Hermitage (Zoya); banya (the public baths, Andrea)
11:00-1:00 Tour of Peter and Paul Fortress
1:00-2:00 Lunch at RFSFR cafe near the Hermitage
2:00-4:00 Tour of the Hermitage Museum
6:00 Dinner on your own
Language tasks: Ask a question during the tours of the fortress and the Hermitage; ask a question at the banya (Extra credit: beat someone with the birch branches at the banya!)
FRIDAY, MARCH 13
7:40 Morning meeting. Presentation: Novgorod (Masha)
full-day tour of Novgorod, including tour of the Novgorod Kremlin, the Museum of Wooden Architecture, and St. George's Monastery
6:00 p.m. Return to St. Petersburg
SATURDAY, MARCH 14
8:30 Morning meeting. Presentations: the Siege of Leningrad (Valentina); Catherine the Great (Valya)
10:00 a.m. Walk to Siege Museum. Tour museum.
11:30 Bus pick up for ride to Piskarovskoe Memorial Cemetery. Visit to Siege Memorial at Victory Square.
1:00 Go to and tour Catherine's Palace (lunch en route)
6:00 Return to city center
6:30-8:30 "Feel Yourself Russian" folk show at Nikolaevsky Palace (includes fourchette)
9:00-12:00 Free time for one last walk around the city
Language tasks: ask a question during the Siege tour and during the tour of Catherine's Palace
SUNDAY, MARCH 15
8:00 a.m. Transfer to airport
10:30 a.m. Flight to Moscow
11:50 a.m. Arrive Moscow (Sheremetyevo 1)
3:55 p.m. Leave Moscow (Sheremetyevo 2)
7:20 p.m. Arrive JFK