Jane Hedrick '10
Hometown: Old Greenwich, CT
Fairfield Study Abroad Experience:
St. Petersburg, February 29-March 9, 2008
Why St. Petersburg?
I thought that this was an amazing opportunity. I had heard that it was a beautiful city and I love to travel. I really didn't see myself being able to get there any other way.
Most memorable travel excursion?
Hard to pick - this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience as a whole. The Church of Spilt Blood was awesome and almost looked fake. The inside of St. Isaacs was gorgeous. What I loved most about that trip was climbing to the top of the dome and seeing the extraordinary view of the city. The Cemetary from the Siege was very touching, especially the little museum alongside it. And the Hermitage was a spectacular palace. The paintings are so famous, it was very cool to see them in person. Then just having time to ourselves in the evening to explore the city at our own pace was also very memorable and fun.
How was your study abroad experience different than you thought it would be?
I really didn't know what to expect before going on the trip. I didn't know any of the other people going so I was a little nervous, but everything completely fell into place and worked out perfectly. The whole experience was incredible, I would definitely do it again in a heartbeat. It's interesting. Here Russia is perceived as kind of bleak and depressing, and when I got back a friend of mine actually asked me if it was as depressing as she pictured it to be. I found the sky a little grey pretty much all the time, but the city itself is very alive and beautiful.
Who will you remember most from St. Petersburg and why?
I didn't know the other students before the trip but I will never forget them now. The mix of different personalities made the trip what it was. I will also definitely remember Prof. McFadden and "Elena" who made the trip amazing. Elena is from St. Petersburg so her first-hand knowledge was so nice and she taught us Russian in the mornings which was very fun and helpful. Both Prof. McFadden and Elena knew the history of everything we saw which really helped us understand the importance of what we were seeing and experiencing, instead of it just being a random monument or building that happened to be beautiful. I will also always remember the Russian students and citizens out in the city that we met - it was interesting to meet people in another part of the world and see what their lives are like compared to ours.