I learned the most Russian and had some of the most rewarding moments while talking with my host family. Just after two months, I made a wonderful friend -- I still e-mail my host mother's daughter. She helped me stay motivated and inspired to learn the language
(P-i-P participant, 2006)
This was the best part of the program. The excitement that was generated by reading Dostoevsky in Russian reminded me of why I had begun to learn the language in the first place, namely, to read its literature untranslated. The work, along with so many others, obviously has such strong ties to the city of Petersburg. Walking around the city added a certain everyday, real-world weight to a work that was already so influential on me… I don't think that one has to be in St. Petersburg in order to see what is great about Dostoevsky, but the direct experience with his immediate surroundings gives you a rich source of images, scents, and general atmosphere which you can draw from in order to recreate the novel for yourself, as you read through it.
(P-i-P participant, 2006)
Obviously, there's really nothing better for learning the language than to live with a Russian family and socialize with Russian peers. They don't converse with you in English at all, which I really like because it forces you to learn to communicate whether you like it or not. Improvement is usually very rapid, and there is a great sense of achievement that comes with being able to hold long, intelligent conversations with Russians on all sorts of topics.
(P-i-P participant, 2006)
My time in St Petersburg was all of enjoyable and eye-opening. And I was delighted to find that, even after I had left, the connection that I had formed with the city only served to make the Russian literature I subsequently read become even more alive and beautiful in my head.
Joyce Lim (PiP 2012)
Princeton in St. Petersburg was an amazing experience. Saint Petersburg is a great city, and there is so much to see and do, ranging from numerous concerts and tons of museums to an amazingly entertaining tour of the actual places referred to in Crime and Punishment. My host family was great, and between talking with them, classes, and the Russian friend program, my Russian improved significantly. You'll never be bored, and my only regret is that the program wasn't longer. If you have the chance to go, definitely take it, you won't regret it.
Aaron Doll (PiP 2012)
"PiP is a really great program. It's a lot of fun, and it's a great way to get good at Russian. The classes are well taught but still leave you plenty of time to explore. St. Petersburg is a fun city with a lot going on. You'll live with a Russian family and have a Russian friend that can show you the ropes. Being able to communicate with them in Russian is really rewarding. I recommend it to anyone that enjoys learning Russian."
Tom Kelly (PiP 2012)
If you have a desire to see an amazing city and culture then look no further than Saint Petersburg, Russia! The city has everything you can dream of from shopping malls, to amusement parks and even several lakes. What better way is there to end a day of Russian class than going out into the city and using the skills you just learned. Each student gets paired with a student from the Russian institute who will take you through the ins-and-outs of the city as you practice conversing in Russian. In addition, your host family is readily available to cook meals for you, help you with your homework or just talk about everyday Russian life. Unlike usual classes at Princeton, the Russian classes in Petersburg are relaxing times were you have the opportunity to learn new material and ask questions, while learning about the uniqueness of Saint Petersburg! Before you know it, you will be laughing at the advertisements, offering advice to your next door babushka or showing down at the local Teremok. The friends you will make and the adventures you will share are unforgettable. This is one language immersion program you don’t want to miss!
Jesse Fleck (PiP 2012)
Princeton in Petersburg offers the absolute best way to immerse yourself in the Russian language. There is truly no substitute for going to Russia and experiencing not only the language, but the people, the culture, the history and everything that makes Russia beautiful, unique and undeniably captivating. If you are serious about pursuing Russian study, this program is a wonderfully well-put-together opportunity that comes once in a lifetime. Grab at the chance to begin uncovering the country that Churchill dubbed "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." You won't regret it!"
Jake Robertson (PiP 2012)
Even just writing this induces in me a strong nostalgia for Princeton-in-Petersburg, and I wish I could return to do it all over again. It was incredibly fun, but I must also say that it was very challenging. Firstly, I come from a very rural background and had not so much as stayed the night in a large city, let alone lived there for two months, and secondly, I had never traveled abroad before PiP. So this was my first experience abroad and in a big city, and I admit I was rather nervous. I was very close to not doing this program and instead doing something else more relevant for my major, something I'm comfortable with. However, I decided to push out of my comfort zone, and I believe I made the right decision. I became comfortable in the city, my Russian obviously improved dramatically, and most importantly, I gained life experience and made memories that I won't soon forget. I wholeheartedly recommend this program for those who are interested in Russian and want a fantastic summer experience.
Todd Seiss (PiP 2012)
Princeton-in-Petersburg was an amazing experience that I encourage all of you to take advantage of. Even after I returned home, I could not believe that I spent 8 weeks in a country where I had minimal command of the language and I stood out like a sore thumb. When you go to St. Petersburg, explore far and wide. You will be constantly enchanted by the beautiful canals, spectacular museums, and the many parks. You have so much time to unwind and just sightsee so take advantage of it!
Morgan Jerkins (PiP 2012)