Post By: Natalia Pinzon and Hanishka Gehani
The transition from Shanghai to St.Petersburg has been quite drastic. We came from a fast-paced environment, where we had a lot of speakers and activities and a much more dyna
mic and interactive class than what we are traditionally used to. And arriving to a city that is breathtaking in its own right, but is a drastic change in pace, culture, language and has a more academic environment. The first class was a little bit hard for everyone. We weren’t used to such long days and lecture style classes. Nevertheless, we adapted relatively quickly within the week as the long days were compensated by the cultural experiences we have had so far. One such experience would be where all of us were dressed to the nines for the opening night of Swan Lake at the prestigious Mariinsky Ballet theatre. What made the lectures so much more interesting was the fact that we were able to experience it out of class that allowed us to further appreciate the Russian culture.
On the other hand, this week was quite eventful wherein three of our classmates fell ill. They were given medical attention immediately and were provided great services at the hospital. As group leaders for this week we wanted to make sure that our peers were doing alright; hence, we kept in touch with via sending messages. Several people from the group did the same; although, such minor gestures were important, we felt that we could have done more. At this point we decided to send a group video with a message wishing him a good recovery. Even though efforts were made, and some people did go to visit him, we still think that a personal touch is required as meeting our peers who aren’t feeling as good as a whole group would have made a bigger difference. Be it in turns or as a group, we feel that everyone should make the effort as familiar faces make a big impact when in a new country.