Alex Polivka is a junior majoring in Security & Intelligence with minors in Russian and Slavic & East European Studies. He spent the summer in Russia improving his language skills. Here is his story.
"This summer I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to study abroad in Russia for nine weeks as part of OSU's Intensive Russian Language and Culture program. As a first year, I had only taken Russian 101, 102, and 103 at Ohio State, so I did not really know what to expect from studying 104, 401, and 402 in the motherland itself. Having been awarded a Mershon Center International Security scholarship as part of my Security and Intelligence major, I prepared to get the most I could out of this trip for my major and for myself.
Once our group arrived in Moscow, the experience became amazing from the get-go. After studying in classes taught by native Russian speakers, we were free to explore Moscow on our own until one in the morning if we chose to. Using the nearby Novoslobodskaya metro station, we could travel anywhere in the city in under thirty minutes. As a runner, I mapped out a jogging route to Red Square that allows me to say that I am probably one of the only people in the world who have run to the Kremlin, as Russians do not seem to like to run. At the halfway point of our trip, we went to St. Petersburg for a week and spent our time exploring the city until we were exhausted.
Thanks to this amazing experience and program, I received an overall A in my 18 credit hours, learned a ton about Russian culture and language, and spent my time in famous Russian landmarks such as St. Basil's Cathedral, the Hermitage, Church of the Christ on Spilt Blood, and the Kremlin. I can't even think of a better way to say how I spent my summer."