Night of culture held to promote new study abroad program

About 65 students attended the Office of Global Studies presentation on Feb. 13 entitled “Russian Night of Culture,” to promote its new summer study abroad program to Russia. The program is two weeks long, running from July 5-21, and is set in Moscow with a day trip to St. Petersburg.
Students were encouraged to sample authentic Russian cuisine including fried pelmeni and pirojki while they listened to speeches by Mr. Karl Rutter of the Office of Global Studies and University professor Dr. Alla Baeva.

The program is open to all majors, but is specifically geared toward T.V. and Film, Communications, and Journalism majors. The three-credit course that will be offered during the study abroad is COM 7003: Mass Media in Russia.

The program costs $1,990 and includes breakfast, lunch, transportation within Russia, and hotel accommodations. The program fee does not include the cost for the course or the airfare to Russia. The Office of Global Studies does however offer financial aid to students that need help paying for expenses.

According to the St. John’s Web site, students studying abroad can expect to see the Red Square, Bolshoi Theater, New Drama Theater, Rasputin’s Palace and the KGB Museum, among many other mini-field trips with in the city. They will also be able to meet professionals working in mass media and gain hands-on experience. One of the main highlights is a discussion panel with Russian Students from the State University of Moscow.

Unlike the other study abroad programs offered, this specific trip will allow students to create daily video blogs about their activities and experiences and post them on the University Web site.

The Office of Global Studies first approached Dr. Baeva two years ago, requesting her help in creating a study abroad program to Russia.

This will be the first summer program to Russia offered by the University.

“Not many students know how much work goes into [planning a new study abroad program],” Dr. Baeva said.

Dr. Baeva went on to say that she has “missed calls with important professors from the State University of Moscow because of the time difference,” making the process of arranging the specific discussion panels and tours very difficult.

Despite the difficulties encountered in creating the program, Dr. Baeva is excited about the study abroad opportunity because “Moscow is the media hub of Russia, just like New York is the media hub of the United States.”

The program, Baeva says, will be both practical and entertaining.