By Kathrynn Weilacher and Katherine Olivette (the Кати)
Last summer we had the incredible opportunity to participate in the College of William & Mary’s St. Petersburg Study Abroad Program in St. Petersburg, Russia. We attended classes at St. Petersburg State University and Moscow State University that covered Russian language, literature, and history. We went on many amazing excursions that made those lessons come to life. We want to share some of our favorite experiences with you.
As we both share a name with Catherine the Great, we were excited to see her Winter and Summer Palaces. We were impressed by the opulent architecture, variety of artwork, and the sheer amount of gold! Peterhof, the summer residence of Peter the Great, also boasted many gilded features, most notably the fountains. We enjoyed walking through the gardens and sneaking an exclusive look into the grotto beneath the Palace.
At the end of the program, we travelled to Moscow by high-speed train for one week. While there, we visited Red Square and other sites that previously we had only seen on the pages of our Russian textbooks. In Moscow, it was also fun to meet up with the person who started our Russian journey—our first-year language instructor Robert Mulcahy. The two of us met in his class during sophomore year and we strengthened our bond throughout this trip. We will never forget the memorable experiences on this trip!