Russian Students Go to Boston, MA

Alfia Rakova's students experienced Russian culture and cuisine first hand on a trip to Boston, MA

I had a great time! It was my first exposure to authentic Russian culture (I’ve been exposed to Serbian culture at home, but there are definitely differences). I liked using the vocabulary and grammar I have learned thus far to interact with someone in an actual life situation rather than in the classroom, where it can sometimes feel a little stilted and unrealistic. I also loved listening to you and the drill instructors talk really quickly in Russian, because hopefully one day that will be me! The food was amazing and the company was great. Thanks so much for taking us on the trip — it was a wonderful experience.

Katie Radulovacki ‘19

I thought the trip to Boston was very enjoyable and accomplished its educational purpose of exposing students to Russian culture and providing an unstructured environment in which we could practice skills.  At Café St Petersburg we were able to practice the accusative case in ordering dishes like пирожок, борщ, и пельмени.  At the Bazaar I only purchased candy, but I found it interesting to browse the shelves and note the different products Russians eat with tea or how differently certain items are packaged compared to an American market.  I did not get an opportunity to practice my numerals there, but the market was a good place to practice listening skills.  At the book store, I made an attempt to read some Russian books such as Винни пух and it was nice to see a different cultural perspective on a classic cartoon character.  Overall, it was a fun trip and thank you for putting it together!

Jeffrey Loo ‘18

The trip was wonderful. It was really great to speak Russian in a restaurant and converse with classmates. I learned more about Russian food and culture as my drill instructors and peers taught me of the traditions. I also really enjoyed being able to spend some time with Professor Rakova again. 

Kaitlyn Hahn ‘19

Thank you so much for organizing this trip and taking me along with you guys. I of course went with pre-set thoughts and expectations for the trip, but was very interested in the Russian communities of Boston, and was also pleasantly surprised by the food and the service at the restaurant. The food was not novel to me, but was very delicious, and it made me happy that the rest of the students liked it as well. More importantly, our waiter and our chef were very pleasant in introducing themselves and making everyone feel comfortable with their cultural surroundings (probably wouldn’t find that nice of service in New York Russian Restaurants). It was also cool to see students I interacted with on a professional level last term in a more laid-back personal setting on this trip.

Thank you again and all the best,

Alan Baranov ‘18

I had such a great time! I wish I had stayed to go to the Russian store and spoken more Russian. But I think this was such a great experience and very thankful the Russian department and yourself organized the trip. You were the best professor to go on a trip with- so funny and so much fun, i laughed so much. These trips should happen more often and I was very happy that people outside of Russian 3 had an open invite. Thank you again for such a great trip!

Lucielle Kozlov ‘16

‪Thank you so much for taking us all to Boston! The food was amazing and the experience was great.I think it's a great idea to do this with first year students - the food is delicious and is a good hands-on experience with some aspects of Russian culture. As a Russian myself, I thought the food was pretty good and it was interesting to see how Russian culture is represented in and adapted to America. I had a great time and it was a wonderful opportunity to get to know my drillees better. 

Ksenia Ryzhova ‘17

Our field trip to Boston gave me the chance to experience Russian language and culture in more depth than I could in the classroom. After eating in a Russian restaurant, visiting a Russian grocery store, and browsing a Russian bookstore, I have a much richer appreciation of Russian customs, culture, and cuisine. Wandering the grocery store and understanding other shoppers' casual conversations in Russian really drove home how much I have learned over the past year. In the context of the restaurant, telling the waiter “спосибо” was automatic, and I was pleased by how naturally communicating in Russian felt. I am very glad to have had the opportunity to practice my Russian in Boston, and I hope that future classes are as lucky as we were. Thank you so much for taking us on the trip. I had a wonderful time and it really did help me see how all the hard work learning Russian pays off.

Nathan Greenstein '19

Мне было очень интересно и весело ездить в Бостон с вами. Я люблю пробовать русскую еду, и мои пельмени были очень вкусные. И я очень рада, что я смогла ездить в русский книжный магазин. Сейчас у меня прекрасная книга с чудесными картинами! Это сказка, которую написал Гоголь. Она называется «Майская ночь, или утопленница». Я надеюсь, что я вернусь в этот магазин.

Аманда Дурфи

Мне очень понравилась поездка в Бостон. Мы долго были на автобусе, но мне не было скучно, потому что я читалаПреступление и наказание (по-английски!) для занятия по Достоевскому. В городе, мне было приятно говорить по-русски и есть новую еду в русском ресторане. Борщ и пирожок с капустой -- очень вкусные (но, по-моему, дорогие).  А ещё мне понравился турецкий кофе. Спасибо большое, Профессор Ракова и факультет русского языка!

Hallie Sala