Last Updated on March 11, 2020 by AIFS Abroad
When we receive the newsletters from our overseas offices it 1) makes us wish we were abroad with all of our students and 2) provides us with a lot of useful information about the program to share.
Why spend the summer in Russia? See all that’s going on in St. Petersburg right now.
Conversation Exchange with Russian Students
During the meeting, Russians sit on one side, Americans on the other, and every 5 minutes the American students rotate until you’ve had a chance to talk with everyone. This is a great opportunity for you to make several new Russian friends!
The Park and Palaces of Peterhof
Located on the Gulf of Finland and often referred to as the “Russian Versailles,” Peterhof (or Petrodvorets) was the summer residence of the tsars. Famous for its fountains, magnificent palaces and gardens, Peterhof is one of the most treasured places of St. Petersburg’s.
Ballet: Giselle at the Mikhailovsky Theater
Of all its arts, Russian ballet is probably the most world renowned. We will be watching one of the best ballet companies in the world perform Жизель, или Вилисы (Giselle). Giselle is a peasant girl who falls in love with Albrecht whom she believes to also be a peasant. Albrecht is, in fact, a Count who is betrothed to a noblewoman.
(Resident Director) Kathryn performed in Giselle many times during her career as a ballerina (see the photo!)
Siege of Leningrad: Exhibition at the Rumyantsev Mansion
The Siege of Leningrad (1941-1944) is one of the darkest pages in St. Petersburg’s history; more than a million people died during the 900 day siege. Thanks to the courage and defiance of the citizens, the city survived. This January marked 70 years since the siege was broken.
Exploring St. Petersburg
The museums and cultural events are endless, so here are a few outdoor places to enjoy:
Krestovsky Island and Yelagin Island
Krestovsky Island is the largest of the three Kirov islands in the northwest of the Petrograd region of St. Petersburg. It is a popular spot for locals to go on the weekend and after work for its parks, ponds, sporting facilities, cafes along the water, restaurants, views of the Gulf of Finland and the Divo Ostrov amusement park. The smallest of the Kirov islands, Yelagin Island, is home to the popular park ЦПКиО and the Yelagin Palace. The two islands are connected by a pedestrian bridge near the Krestovsky Island Metro. Yelagin Palace is also located on the island. Built in 1822 and designed by architect Carlo Rossi, the palace served as a royal summer palace during the reign of Tsar Alexander I. Rent a bike and explore all the islands have to offer!
The Summer Gardens – Летний Сад
Peter the Great created the Summer Garden in 1704 and in 2012 the garden was restored to its former glory. The garden has a collection of sculptures and fountains and the Summer Palace of Peter the Great can be discovered within.