Connecticut College TRIP to Russia, March 7-16, 2008
Moscow — Borovsk — St. Petersburg
The Connecticut College TRIP to Moscow, Borovsk, and St. Petersburg will provide a language and cultural immersion experience for the thirteen students in the Elementary Russian sequence RUS 101-102. Rather than serve as a “sight-seeing tour,” the TRIP will thrust students into everyday Russian life, striking a balance between “universal” experiences (such as shopping, going to the movies, browsing at a bookstore, eating fast-food) and more culturally-specific “Russian” activities (observing International Women’s Day on Mar. 8, eating blini on Red Square during Maslenitsa, meeting with Old Believers, going to the public baths, taking the night train from St. Petersburg to Moscow). In this regard, the TRIP will epitomize Connecticut College’s mission of “putting the liberal arts into action” by making it possible for students in Elementary Russian to practice their language skills in authentic situations for ten days.
Key features of the TRIP include daily encounters with people from all walks of life—university students, residents of a Russian village, interior designers, tour guides, Old Believers, shop keepers, expats, and train conductors. Students will conduct daily language tasks, keeping a diary in Russian to record their communicative efforts and outcomes, as well as create a voice travelogue of their experiences on their course-designated iPods.
Each student will also conduct research for a five-minute presentation to be given during the trip on one of the historic sites, state holidays, or cultural phenomena to be encountered during the trip. Topics include International Women's Day, Maslenitsa (Russian Carnival), the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square, cuisines (Russian, Uzbek, Georgian), the village of Borovsk, Russian Old Believers, the Cold War, the Arbat in Moscow, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Rasputin, and the Siege of Leningrad.
Special thanks to Shirley Parson at Connecticut College, and to Renee Stillings and Josh Wilson at the School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS), whose organizational acumen and assistance every step of the way have made this trip possible.
ITINERARY (updated 3/7/08)
FRIDAY, MARCH 7
Depart Connecticut College for JFK at 1:00 p.m.
Depart NY (JFK) 8:20 p.m. (overnight flight).
Language task: Give a small gift to a Russian woman passenger on the plane in honor of International Women’s Day.
Presentation (on the way to JFK): International Women's Day (Sonya)
SATURDAY, MARCH 8
Arrive Moscow (Sheremetyevo 1) 1:25 p.m.
4:00 Drop bags at apartments on Tverskaya
5:00 Walking tour along Tverskaya; buy breakfast supplies for next day
6:30 Dinner at MuMu, Metro Tverskaya, Mal. Gnezdnikovskii per., dom. 9, str. 7
8:00 p.m. Coffee with Sasha, an interior designer, publisher, and Muscovite, to discuss the holidays International Women’s Day and Maslenitsa, and the rise of a middle class in Russia
Language tasks: Buy materials for breakfast at Eliseevsky Gastronom; order dinner at Mu Mu; order coffee at café; ask Sasha a question.
SUNDAY, MARCH 9
8:00 Breakfast in apartments
8:30 Morning meeting. Presentations: Red Square (Sasha); Maslenitsa (Anya); Russian cuisine (Kolya)
9:00 Walk down Tverskaya to Red Square to observe Maslenitsa festivities
10:30 Take the metro to Izmailovsky Park (Moscow’s biggest open air market) for souvenir shopping
1:00 lunch on your own at Izmailovo
2:00-4:30 Free time
5:00-7:00 Cooking class: make and eat pelmeni
7:00-10:00 Free time (sleep recommended to recover from jet lag)
Language tasks: Ask someone the time or directions; order blini; buy metro ticket; buy something at Izmailovo; ask a question of the instructor during the cooking class.
MONDAY, MARCH 10
6:45 Breakfast and morning meeting in apartments. Presentation: Borovsk (Liuda)
7:15 Leave for Metro Pushkinskaya
7:30 Meet Liudmila to take bus to Borovsk (pop. 11,917).
10:10-11:00 Take a van to the monastery
11:00-12:30 Tour of the monastery
2:00-4:00 Museum, city tour, doll workshop
4:00-5:00 Dinner, depart for the elektrichka
Language tasks: talk with local residents of Borovsk; ask a question about the history of the town or where something is located; try to engage one of the local residents in a conversation.
TUESDAY, MARCH 11
8:00 Breakfast in apartments
8:30 Morning meeting. Presentations: the Moscow Kremlin (Sasha); the Arbat (Tanya)
9:00-1:00 Walk down Tverskaya to Red Square. Meet at 9:45 at Kutafia tower to tour Kremlin grounds, cathedrals, and armoury
1:00-2:00 Walk over to Arbat; lunch on your own
2:00-6:00 Free time (options: visit the Christ the Savior Cathedral; see a movie; visit bookstores and/or internet cafés)
6:00-7:00 Dinner on your own
8:00 Visit to B2 club (http://www.b2club.info/club/). Metro Mayakovskaya, Bolshaya Sadovaya street, 8, bld. 1 (walking distance from the apartments)
Language tasks: Ask a question during the Kremlin tour; ask the location of a bathroom/metro station/bookstore on the Arbat; order lunch; try to engage someone in conversation at B2 and/or purchase a beverage
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12
8:00 a.m. Breakfast in apartments
8:20 Morning meeting. Presentations: Old Believers (Lena); the Cold War (Katya); Georgian cuisine (Vera)
9:00 Leave for metro Pushkinskaya
9:30 Meet at metro Pushkinskaya in the main hall. Visit to Old Believers (Taganskaya); tea will be served
12:00 Lunch at blinnitsa nearby
2:00-4:00 Tour of the Cold War museum
4:00-7:00 Free time
7:00 Dinner at Georgian restaurant (Dioskoria)
9:45 p.m. Pick up bags from apartments
11:30 Board night train to St. Petersburg (at Leningradsky vokzal)
Language tasks: Ask a question of the Old Believers; buy something at a kiosk (newspaper, beverage, etc.); ask a question or give a toast at the restaurant.
THURSDAY, MARCH 13
7:40 a.m. arrive St. Petersburg; breakfast packs on the train; public transportation to Puppet Hostel
9:00 Morning meeting (at hostel). Presentation: the Hermitage (Ilya)
10:30-12:10 Tour of the Hermitage Museum
12:30-1:00 Tour of St. Petersburg Univeristy
1:00-2:00 Lunch with Russian professor and students at cafe Zindan; brief tour of SPb University
2:30-4:30 Guided walking tour of St. Petersburg (back streets)
6:00 Dinner with Polly, a St. Petersburg resident, Cafe Idiot
7:00-11:00 Optional club/theater/ballet of your choice (schedule of events provided)
Language tasks: Ask a question of the conductor on the train; greet our guide in Russian; greet the staff at the hostel; ask a question on the Hermitage tour; engage a Russian student in conversation.
FRIDAY, MARCH 14
8:30 a.m. Breakfast at hostel
9:00 Morning meeting. Presentations: Uzbek cuisine (Galina); Rasputin and Russian political history (Vasya)
10:00 Take metro to Sennaya Ploshad. Walking tour of Sennaya Square, Sadovaya St., Kriukov Canal, St. Nicholas Cathedral, Theater Square.
1:00-2:00 lunch at Stolle Café
2:30-4:00 discussion of U.S. elections at the School of Economics
4:00-6:30 Free time
7:00 Uzbek dinner (Karavan Sarai)
Language tasks: ask a question of the guide during the walking tour; introduce yourself at the School of Economics; participate in discussion with Russian students; ask a question at the Uzbek restaurant.
SATURDAY, MARCH 15
8:30 Breakfast at hostel
10:00 a.m. Walk to Siege Museum. Tour museum.
11:30 Bus pick up for ride to Piskarovskoe Memorial Cemetery. Visit to Siege Memorial at Victory Square.
2:00 Lunch on your own at Subway
3:00-5:00 Banya! (near metro Novocherkaskaia)
7:00 p.m. “Feel Yourself Russian” Folk Show at Nikolaevsky Palace (hor d'ouvres served)
9:00-11:00 Free time for final stroll around the city
Language tasks: ask a question during the Siege tour; ask a question of our guide at the banya.
SUNDAY, MARCH 16
7:45 a.m. Leave for airport
10:30 a.m. Flight to Moscow
11:50 a.m. Arrive Moscow (Sheremetyevo 1)
3:55 p.m. Leave Moscow (Sheremetyevo 2)
7:20 p.m. Arrive JFK