I was initially drawn to Russian studies by my interest in Russian history. When I arrived at William & Mary, I was surprised by the extent of Russian related classes and activities available to me and I quickly began to immerse myself in the program. What started as just an interest in history expanded into a newfound appreciation for Russian culture in general. The program has given me much that I am grateful for. Through RPSS, I have had the opportunity to engage with a fascinating culture and learn a language vastly different from my own. Studying Russian literature has given me the skills to think critically and analyze content in a way I had not considered before. RPSS also gave me the chance to travel abroad for the first time through the St. Petersburg program. The St. Petersburg program allowed me to place what I studied here at W&M into practical situations and put the history I love into context. What I am most grateful for, is that RPSS has helped me grow into a more confident and globally minded person. To this day, my excitement and love for Russia has not dulled and I believe my time in the RPSS program will make me a better historian.