Thai Massage in St. Petersburg

I was thrilled when I realized that I was going to celebrate my 21st birthday while studying abroad in St. Petersburg. My sole goal was to have a fun and unforgettable day with friends, and so I made a plan. Earlier this semester, I had a huge craving for food from back home. As a […]

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Top 5 Burger Places in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg has a long reputation as a cultural hub and as a “window” for Russia on other cultures. In recent years, these aspects have converged to make St. Petersburg a gastronomic capital of a Russia and a city that is never short of ways to keep your mouth drooling. With a great selection of […]

Peter and Paul Fortress Excursion in Saint Petersburg

As part of our SRAS program, we had a guided tour of the Peter and Paul Fortress. On a beautiful summer day, we took a tram out to the fortress. Once there, our guide started off by explaining the history of the fortress. Peter the Great established the fortress on May 16, 1703 on Hare […]

Top 5 Asian Places in St Petersburg

Having grown up in Thailand, I often get cravings for Asian food. While abroad, I’m often disappointed, however, as much of what you can find abroad is cheap and inauthentic. Luckily for me, there are several places in St Petersburg that know what they are doing. I have spent time as an exchange student here […]

Program Review of SRAS RSL Summer Program in Saint Petersburg

Although there were several programs offering summer programs in Russia to choose from, I had from the beginning decided to choose SRAS. At least two professors and several of my colleagues recommended SRAS to me. The reasoning? Well I think my favorite piece of advice, and one that I have come to agree with, was […]

5 Best Vegan-Friendly Locations in Saint Petersburg

Having a special diet abroad can be tough. Tougher yet are finding restaurants and cafes worth your time and money.   Greenbox Griboyedov channel embankment, 15, (multiple locations) If you are looking for a quick grab-and-go type of meal, Greenbox is a great place to stop. You can choose from a wide selection of premade […]

Hard-to-Find Foods in Russia

In 2005, when this resource was first developed, supermarket chains in Russia were only first developing. Brand and product selection, while perhaps normal for a post-Soviet location, was disappointing and monotonous for most visitors. The restaurant scene, even in places like Moscow and St. Petersburg, also felt underdeveloped. Of the three things commonly looked for […]

Packing List for Study Abroad (+what to do with your laptop, cell phone, etc.)

A semester or year stay abroad requires considerable planning. If you will be spending winter months in most SRAS locations, luggage can quite easily become unwieldy, which can mean airline charges for overweight bags. Planning what you need in advance can help you avoid this (and help you avoid forgetting something important). Invest in good, […]

Best Coffee Places in Saint Petersburg

I generally feel pretty awful in the morning until I drink some coffee – a big, black, and bitter Americano always does me well. I feel like I have some room to judge a good cup of coffee as well as, for the past three years, I have been working as a barista and student […]

Russian as a Second Language Program Review: St. Petersburg

My decision to study abroad with SRAS began spring 2018 when I was looking at the credits I still needed for graduation with my Russian advisor. I only needed to take 6 credits of Russian language the following spring in order to complete my Russian degree. After seeing this I looked at my advisor and […]

Weekend Trip to Kaliningrad from St. Petersburg

In the hopes of seeing more of Russia, I decided with some friends to book a weekend trip to somewhere off the beaten track—Kaliningrad. Why Kaliningrad? For starters, as a student of both German and Russian languages and cultures, Kaliningrad (formerly Königsburg) provides an intriguing intersection between German and Russian history. Secondly, round trip flights […]

The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

The majesty of beauty of this site can hardly be put into words. No library of books or collection of photographs can ever account for the magnanimous moments of history, the tragic also, the intimate conversations that took place within the halls, and the secrets that are lost for all time to history. For all […]

Reviews of the UNECON Dorms in St. Petersburg

The following is a compilation of student reviews about the London School dorms. This page is meant to help students prepare for their time abroad. Living Conditions Joseph Ernst (Summer, 2019): My housing experience was excellent. The in-room bathroom was extremely comfortable and convenient, and the kitchen was spacious enough to hold the groceries of […]

Mickey and Monkey’s in St. Petersburg

Less than a five minute walk away from the UNECON campus is a restaurant that at first glance is relatively unassuming, but behind the plain brick façade is Mickey and Monkey’s is one of the hippest spots in St. Petersburg. It is not uncommon to see a line of people waiting to be seated extending […]

The Legacy of Alexander Pushkin in Moscow and St. Petersburg

In Anna Melikian’s 2015 film Pro Lyubov (About Love), a film divided into vignettes focusing on modern love ala Love Actually, one of the vignettes focuses on a young woman from Japan who comes to Russia due to her love of Russian literature. While in Russia she hopes to find a Russian boyfriend. She goes […]

Excursion to New Holland Island in St. Petersburg

New Holland Island dates to the 18th century, but today is a compact and beautiful center of modern culture and international food in St. Petersburg. It’s a great place to grab some food and relax. It’s very similar to any brewery district in a hipster city – and was right up my alley. I visited […]

Russian as a Second Language with Scholarship: A Semester in St. Petersburg

Why did you choose your program and location? Ever since my older sisters did semester-long study abroad programs while they were in university, I knew that I wanted to do the same. Having studied Russian at university for two years, going on a program in Russia or Ukraine made a lot of sense for me. […]

SRAS Guide to Living in St. Petersburg

The following is a quick overview to some of those services and products that students often need in the course of a semester or summer abroad. This covers everything from haircuts to pharmacies and gyms to computer repair. Students should generally expect to need to speak at least some Russian when seeking out these experiences […]

St. Petersburg: Student Budgets and Logistics

Students in St. Petersburg report spending about $80-110 a week average over the course of their stay. This covers groceries, city transport, an occasional meal out, school supplies, modest weekend entertainment, and other general living expenses. Note that this guide assumes 65 rubles = 1 US dollar. Prices current as of May, 2019. In This […]

Urgent Care While Abroad: Experience in St. Petersburg

Health issues are always unnerving no matter where you are in the world, but serious medical issues abroad can be even more stress. You don’t know if the quality of the health care is going to be what you are used to or even what you need. SRAS students are supplied with health insurance (as […]

Grand Maket in St. Petersburg: A Miniature Tour of Russia

After two months in Russia where have I been? Only in St. Petersburg, but what have I seen? The entire country. How is this possible? Well, I took a tour of the Grand Maket Rossiya. The word “maket” in Russian can be translated as “layout” or “model,” and the Grand Maket is the world’s second […]

Preparing for and Coping with Culture Shock

Some of our students report not feeling culture shock at all. Some are surprised by how much culture shock they experience. Often, those most affected are those who did not expect it. So how can you prepare to live in a new culture and get the most out of the experience? How do you prepare […]

Reasons to Visit the Anna Akhmatova Museum in St. Petersburg

The Anna Akhmatova Museum at the Fountain House is a charming museum that provides both a glimpse into the life of the famed poet and the culture of St. Petersburg that she lived in the 1930s and 40s. Akhmatova is one of the most well-known poets of the Silver Age of Russian literature whose poem […]

A Guide to Recycling in St. Petersburg

After my first few weeks in Russia I noticed that I was starting to amass quite the collection of plastic water bottles. Due to the fact that the tap water in St. Petersburg is unsafe to drink I resorted to buying bottled water more frequently than I ever had in the US, and because my […]

Managing Your Cash While Abroad: A Student Guide

Eurasia today is quite affordable. Students are often surprised how far their dollars will go even in major cities like St. Petersburg and Warsaw – and very surprised at how far they go in places like Bishkek and Irkutsk. However, students can also be surprised at how easy it is to run into troubles – […]

Russian Vodka Museum in St. Petersburg

The Museum of Russian Vodka in St. Petersburg uses vodka to take visitors on a delightful stroll through Russian history. One can even sample different varieties of vodka along the way. The museum is located a block and a half away from the Aleksandrovskiy Garden at Konnogvardeyskiy Bulvar 4, and operates from 12 pm to […]

A Tour Through St. Petersburg’s Annenkirche

St. Petersburg’s Annenkirche is a sight worth seeing. An Evangelical Lutheran church built in the 1770’s, the building has seen many reincarnations throughout its life. During the time of the Soviet Union the building was used to house a cinema, then until the early 2000’s the space was transformed into a nightclub. The nightclub remained […]

A Weekend Trip to Sochi

In terms of climate, Sochi is not what you would expect from a Russian city. Sochi has a humid subtropical climate that somewhat resembles central California. Average temperatures range from relatively comfortable winters, at 11°C (52°F), to very comfortable summers, at 24°C (75°F). Just outside the city limits, the Caucasus Mountains rise abruptly, giving the city […]

Weekend Trip to Kazan from St. Petersburg

Travel within Russia is comparatively inexpensive and, while studying in St. Petersburg, I’ve been able to see many great cities will keeping to a student budget: Sochi, Murmansk, Irkutsk, and now Kazan. Kazan is unique and now one of my favorite Russian cities. This uniqueness stems largely from the Tatar and Muslim influences in architecture […]

Arrival in St. Petersburg: Student Impressions

Let our St. Petersburg students let you know what to expect when arriving to St. Petersburg! Heading abroad is always a big step and can feel exciting or overwhelming – or both. Learn from the experience of others and hit the ground running!   How did you feel when you first arrived? Joseph Ernst (Summer, […]

Traveling to Irkutsk from St. Petersburg

Travel in Russia is extremely cheap when compared with taking domestic flights in North America. For example, where a flight from Nova Scotia to Montreal with a duration of an hour and a half would be close to $600 round trip, I made a four day trip from St. Petersburg to Irkutsk (a 9 hour […]

A Grand Tour of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg

At some point in your SRAS program in St. Petersburg, there will be a trip to the Hermitage. Sergey is the usual tour guide for this trip, and he is full of stories and inside facts that you would have never gotten if you had gone on your own. When you’re walking toward the Hermitage […]

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