Jessica Peck is a sophomore majoring in Communication Sciences & Disorders. She traveling in Moscow, Russia for the next 10 weeks.
The cloud of excitement is starting to set in! In less than two weeks, I’ll be in Moscow, Russia and I couldn’t be happier. As each day passes, the knowledge that the adventure that I’ve been dreaming about for nearly three years is solidifying into reality.
Why Russia? I’ve had an unexplainable passion for the culture and language for the last few years and this opportunity to study there will help me gain a greater command of the Russian language while letting me experience the country with my own eyes. Finally, I’ll have a chance to improve my language and an opportunity to understand the way of life. I’ll be gone for ten weeks, completely immersed in Russian life and my first time studying abroad.
As I’m writing this I have to admit that a strong gust of nervousness has just hit me. Whenever I think seriously of getting on the plane and leaving my family and friends behind, my nerves get the better of me and squeeze my heart a little bit. The only thing that I’m truly scared about is the feelings of homesickness and displacement and the possibility of feeling isolated when I get there. However, the thoughts of the adventures and experiences about which I will be able to proclaim that, “I lived it!” quickly push those bad feelings aside. St. Petersburg, Red Square, and the Kremlin here I come!
I can’t wait to be engulfed in the history, the current events, the mannerisms, the beliefs! I want to learn how to live like a Russian and think like a Russian. I yearn to discover what makes Americans different and why we think we are so dissimilar and what makes Russia a difficult country to understand? I’m ready to learn, to comprehend and to appreciate. I’m looking forward to meeting my new host family and creating new friendships and most of all I’m excited for the uncertainty, for not knowing what to expect.
For now, my worries and questions consist of preparation and wonder: what gifts to get for my host family? What are they like? Is it possible to find a stylish anti-theft/travel purse? Will it be hard to make friends? Do Russians really drink that much? Will I pick up a better Russian accent? I hope the food agrees with me. Will I look like an American? How many socks should I bring? And most of all… I hope I don’t forget anything.