The shared kitchen. Not pictured are two sinks across from the stove.

Reviews of the UNECON Dorms in St. Petersburg

Published: June 17, 2019

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

Natasha Harwood (Spring, 2019): I seem to remember promising myself after my first year at the university that I would never live in a dormitory again, but now I find myself back in the dorms—this time in St. Petersburg. Of course, my strongest memories of living in the dorms in the US involve living with a stranger in an 8 ft by 10 ft box, cooking pasta in an electric kettle, and that long walk to and from the showers every morning. But that was all in the US, so what I really want to know is: “How will living in a Russian dorm compare to my experience in the US?”

I’ll start with what initially surprised me about the dorms. When I looked at pictures online of the UNECON dorms I did not realize that the single rooms in the 7th dormitory, where SRAS students are housed, have their own private bathrooms attached. The private bathrooms are by far my favorite part of the dorms because, aside from the shared kitchen, the dorm rooms are more like apartments than what I was accustomed to in the US. Speaking of the bathrooms, a less positive surprise that I experienced in the dorms was the lack of hot water. Not to say that there is never any hot water, but rarely is the water hot when you first turn the shower on. Generally in the morning when everyone in the building is showering the wait time is only 10-20 minutes for hot water, but if you try to shower at an odd time in the day the wait time for hot water can be up to an hour!

Though the water may not always be hot, the rooms certainly are. Seriously, the building is very well heated so you don’t have to worry about being cold even on the chilliest winter nights. All in all I would say that the dorms in St. Petersburg are far nicer than what I experienced in the US, but there are still a few issues that I have.


Eating Facilities

Natasha Harwood (Spring, 2019): There are no ovens in the kitchens, which really limits the variety of foods that I can make as I am primarily a baker, and at home I used my oven every day. Also, the one thing I would say that is better about dorms in the US is the fact that even if they don’t have complete kitchens there will be one or more dining halls on campus. While there are plenty of cafes and even a couple of cafeteria-style eateries within walking distance of the dorm here, it’s not the same as a dining hall on campus.



Natasha Harwood (Spring, 2019): Finally, here are just a couple tips I would recommend for if you are planning on living in the dorms at UNECON or anywhere abroad:

1. Pack a lightweight, but warm blanket. In case the mattress in your room has loose springs or is just a little too firm, the comforter can be used to provide a layer of cushion between you and the mattress and then you can use your own blanket to stay warm at night.

2. Bring something small that can give your room a personal touch. This can be a photo, maybe a postcard from home, a stuffed animal, or, like I did, a dream catcher that my mom gave me before I left for Russia.

3. Finally, don’t worry too much about the dorm rooms, at the end of the day you didn’t come to Russia to spend all of your time in a dormitory!

About authors

Natasha Harwood

Natasha Harwood is a current senior at the University of Montana studying German, Russian, and Linguistics. This spring, in her final semester of studies, she is studying Russian as a Second Language in St. Petersburg. She chose to study in Russia in order to improve her abilities to speak and understand Russian, as well as her understanding of Russia as a whole. After her program, she plans to pursue a career as a high school foreign language teacher of either German or Russian, which will allow her to draw upon her experiences in St. Petersburg for the rest of her career.

Program attended: Challenge Grants: Funding for Study Abroad

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SRAS Wikis

SRAS Wikis are maintained collectively by SRAS Challenge Grant Writers and Home and Abroad Scholars. They are meant to be continually updated repositories of information created for students and by students to best suit each SRAS location.

Program attended: All Programs

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