Ryan Berthiaume

“If you’re considering the RLASP program, definitely do it! This has been the greatest summer of my life so far!”

Program: ACTR Russian Language and Area Studies Program (RLASP), Summer; St. Petersburg, Russia

Student’s Majors: Chemical Engineering, Russian

Ryan, left, at Red Square and in front of St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.

Academic Life: The program was laid back enough, where I still learned a lot, but I had enough time to go and explore the city and to get a lot of real-world language experience. I enjoyed all of my teachers and I made a lot of Russian friends, along with new American friends.

Housing:  I lived in a host family. I had a host mom and dad, along with two host brothers who were my age. I recommend a host family because everyday you get language practice, along with learning about family life in a foreign culture. Additionally, you get to try all kinds of interesting, new, foreign foods!

First Impressions: I was so very excited to be in Russia. St. Petersburg was exactly how I expected it to be.

Most  Memorable Moments: The first time stepping onto Red Square in Moscow was one of my most memorable moments.

Home Away From Home: St. Petersburg became like a second home for me. My host family, and new Russian and American friends, all became very close with me.  Even after just eight weeks, saying goodbye was extremely challenging.