When I signed up for this program, I didn’t really know what I got myself into. Sure, I understood I would be entering an intensive Russian language program, but what would it actually be like? I guess I should start by comparing my expectations of Narva with the reality of Narva. I’m sure everyone here can agree that it is not the most beautiful city, but there are a few enchanting qualities about the city. I am no fan of running, but being that I have a fitness test the first week back at school, I have found myself running at least a few times a week. I firmly believe running is the best way to explore unknown parts of any city, and Narva is no exception. One of the most redeeming qualities of this city is the presence of its medieval castle located along the river dividing Estonia from Russia, which happens to be a beautiful place to run. Before my arrival, I had no idea of its existence, but it is actually one of the coolest things I have seen in Europe.
In terms of the academics, I can’t imagine there are many better places to study Russian (besides, of course, in Russian). The combination of our amazing teachers and our ability to practice speaking while simply walking around the city both contributed to what I believe has been an extremely successful summer. I have had mixed emotions about heading back to the States. I have spent the past 8 months (except for 10 days in June) studying in Europe, and while it has been an amazing experience, I am ready to be back. Project GO has exceeded my expectations and hopefully, I will be able to partake again next summer. Also, I want to take a moment of appreciation for all the people in the Narva program. Going into the program I was nervous about whether I would get along with the mixed group from all over the country, but it turns out I have gotten along with everyone (as far as I know). Without all the people in this program, Narva may just have been miserable.