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STUDYING ABROAD: Meet Our Spring 2011 Bloggers!

24 Jan

Jen Anderson

Hello! or as they say in Russian ‘Привет’!

My name is Jen Anderson, I’m twenty years old and I am originally from Glastonbury, Connecticut. I’m in my junior year here at The University of Vermont where I major in Russian Language and minor in English. I absolutely love UVM and have thoroughly enjoyed every second of my time in Burlington.

I am spending this spring semester abroad, studying Russian at St.Petersburg State University under CIEE’s Russian Language Program. I’ve been fascinated by Russian language, literature and culture for as long as I can remember and even though I started studying Russian in the seventh grade, I have never been to Russia.

To say that I am excited for this trip is an understatement- I become more and more curious with each passing day. In a sense, it feels like my entire academic career has led up to the next few months! St.Petersburg, commonly referred to as Russia’s cultural capital, is an amazing city filled with beautiful sights, interesting people and places. There is always something going on and from what I have from my fellow UVM-ers who have returned from the CIEE program it sounds like a blast. At the end of the day, I think I am most eager to  finally be entirely immersed in Russian language and culture and experiencing life in the country I have studied for so long. I can’t wait for this big new adventure to begin and I am so glad I get to share my stories and experiences with you all!

I fly out of Boston on the 25th and my orientation starts the next day. My last couple of days here at home are going to be filled with shopping, packing and tying up any loose ends here in CT before I leave. Check back next week to find out how my travels went and my first impressions of life in St.Petersburg. I hope you are all enjoying the start of the new semester at UVM. Thanks for reading everybody!

До свидания!
Jen
Jessica Salameh

My name is Jessica Salameh and I am a junior at UVM. I am majoring  in political science and concentrating in international relations and  am  obtaining a minor in Middle Eastern studies. I am also studying Arabic. I will be studying abroad for one semester in Jordan and taking courses at the University of Jordan in Amman- the capitol city of the country.

One reason I choose to study abroad is because of how much I can learn overseas that I can not learn here at UVM. For example, language is much easier to learn when being surrounded by it  then to learn it in a class room. The reason I chose Jordan is because I am half Jordanian and half American and I have tons of  family that lives in Jordan. I grew up in Jordan and spoke Arabic fluently as a child until I moved to Vermont at the age of eight and forgot almost all of the language. I look forward to relearning the language I lost and to reuniting with family.

One thing I am nervous about is the fact that I hardly remember any language and fear doing or saying something culturally taboo without realizing it! For example, everything I wear must be extremely conservative and loose, I must wear flip flops in the house and not go barefoot, keep my stuff extremely neat, bring gifts whenever I visit anyone, always finish the food on my plate, and learn a list of local greetings (even for after I shower!).

Goodbye for now and now more updates to come!

Jessica

 
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