Report- semester abroad in St. Petersburg

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1 Report- semester abroad in St. Petersburg

2 Table of Contents 1. Dormitory Location of the Dormitory and Metro map Studies at Graduate School of Management St. Petersburg Leisure Time Activities Going Shopping Restaurants and Cafés Travelling Other free time activities Cost of Living Results... 10

3 1. Dormitory When we arrived at the Pulkovo airport in St. Petersburg, one of the students of the Graduate School of Management met us. He was waiting right at the exit of the gate with a sign in his hands with our names written on it. He was very friendly and talking English with us. We then had to decide, if we want to go by bus and metro or taxi. We decided to go by taxi, because it was already dark and going by taxi is of course easier with a lot of luggage. Getting a legal or illegal taxi is very easy and so it took us just 5 minutes to get one, that is big enough for the luggage of three girls. But you really need to be careful and bargain a lot, because foreigner always pay too much, as we did. The drive by taxi took us about 45 minutes to the dormitory. My first impression of the city was impressive. The city is just beautiful in the dark, with all its lightening on the buildings and bridges and of course there was snow everywhere. When we arrived in the dormitory, our guide told us to go in the fourth floor. There we met the babuschka, who showed us our room, gave us the keys and bed linen. When we first entered the rooms we were really shocked, because the rooms were so dirty. Especially the fridge, kitchen and shower were really dirty. It took us some hours to clean everything. The next week, after we complained about this and the furniture, we got very new furniture. From that moment, our room was very good and also there was a cleaner coming to our room every morning to tidy up the kitchen and bathroom. Every apartment consists of 2 bedrooms, each for three people, a kitchen, a bathroom and a toilet. The kitchen don t contains dishes. In the kitchen you have a table with 2 chairs and the bedroom contains three beds, three bedside tables, 2 desks with three chairs and one very big wardrobe and one shelf. Generally Germans live on the fourth of nine floors. On every floor is a babuschka paying attention to what happens. Also you can go to her, if you need any help concerning your room. The administration rooms are in the first floor. There you need to go to register and also to apply for a multi visa. The room for washing your clothes is on the first floor (room 108).

4 1.1. Location of the Dormitory and Metro map The dormitory is located right next to the Graduate School of Management in the north of the city center. The main building of the university is located 15 minutes by feet away from the dormitory. Very close to the dormitory there are supermarkets, three shopping malls, gyms, restaurants and bars. Also you can reach a very big mall in 10 minutes by bus. The following map shows the St. Petersburg Metro Map. The dormitory and Graduate School of Management are located at the red line at the metro station Akademischeskaya. You can reach the metro station in 10 to 15 minutes by feet. To drive to the main city center, we had to take the red line until we reached the green line. This took us about 20 to 30 minutes.

5 2. Studies at Graduate School of Management The Graduate School of Management (GSOM SPbU) is part of the Polytechnical University of St. Petersburg. The renowned business school offers bachelor and master degree courses, as well as MBA s. The Business School is located right next to the dormitory. You can reach the course study rooms by passing a connecting hall in the third floor. So, you don t need to go out of the building. My fellow students of Hochschule Ludwigshafen and me successfully got through eight different courses of a master program, although we are actually on our bachelor program in Germany. Right at the beginning, the university attached us with these courses, to reach 30 credits. We participated the following courses: International Economics (3,5 credits), Information Management (3,5 credits), Business Correspondence (5 credits), Research Methods in Management ( 3,5 credits), Russian Language (5 credits), Master's Research Work (4 credits), Leadership (2,5 credits) and Modern Strategic Analysis (4,5 credits). All the courses were held in English, that everyone could understand the lectures. We had no real exam phase, because all the exams were written during the semester. Also you don't start with all the courses at the beginning of the semester. The lectures of most of the courses are held in about three to four weeks. Some start at the beginning, some in the middle of the semester and some at the end of the semester. Right after the last lecture of the course you will have the exam. But to participate the exam you generally need to make presentations and written assignments, before.

6 3. St. Petersburg St. Petersburg is right after Moscow, the main city of Russia, the second biggest city of Russia with 5,13 billion people (2014). St. Petersburg is the northest billion city of the world and is located in the north-west of Russia at the Newabay at the Gulf of Finland. The city was built in the 18. century from Peter the Great. Today the unique city counts an area of 1500 m² and offers many beautiful, impressive sights. The main city center with all its sights and the magnificent architecture belong to the UNESCO world s cultural heritage. The museums, palaces, monastery, cathedrals and impressive buildings attract many tourists of the whole world Leisure Time Activities St. Petersburg is a very big city, that s why there are lots of options on how to spend your leisure time. I had most of my lectures on just a few days a week and the rest of the days I had free time. So you can spend lots of time for leisure time activities. We spent most of our free time in the city center Going Shopping St. Petersburg doesn t consist of a real pedestrian area. The main city center is the 4.5km long Nevsky street, that goes through the city. This street has six traffic lanes. On the one end of the street is Ploschad Vostanja. There you will find the very big shopping mall Gallery. This is the biggest mall of St. Petersburg. There you will find more exclusive, but also popular low cost brands. Also there is a food floor. You need to go there, if you want to go shopping, because this mall is just perfect. Along the Nevsky street there are more shopping malls and shops. Also I can recommend you to go and have a look at the shoe shops, because in St. Petersburg there are so many shoe shops with good quality shoes.

7 Restaurants and Cafés You can find restaurants and cafés everywhere in St. Petersburg. The Rubbensteiner Street is one of the streets with the best restaurants of the city. But, if you are looking for a real Russian restaurant you really need to go to Mama Na Datsche. There you will get real, delicious Russian food for good prices. You will find this restaurant at the Nevski Street, close to Ploschad Vostanja. Of course in St. Petersburg there are fast food restaurants like MC Donalds, but also the Russian fast food restaurant Teremok. You will find Teremok almost everywhere. They offer Russian food, like pelmeni, hearty pancakes and soups like bortsch, for low prices. Also St. Petersburg has lots of places where you can eat Sushi for good prices. Also you will find baking stands in the whole city. There you can buy good, tasty Russian pastries. But if you like to have pastries, close to our delicious German pastries, you need to go to Bouche, the best baker in St. Petersburg. There is one of the baking stands close to the dormitory in one of the shopping malls at the metro station Travelling Me and my friends wanted to learn more about Russia and living in Russia. And because St. Petersburg is a huge, international city, we thought about driving outside the city, where you will find almost nothing than huge landscapes and small cities, villages. So, in April we went by train to the small city Veliki Novgorod. Driving by train in Russia is definitely worth the experience. The trains are not at the same technical, modern level than the trains in Germany. We were driving very slow and also we were sitting on plastic benches. During the whole drive, there is someone trying to sell products. We experienced Russia in a very different way. The city was small and we visited an outside museum to get a look on how the people in villages, lived in earlier ages. At this time it was snowing and very cold there. Our next trip was really exciting. We went to Russia s main city, Moscow. We took a train in the night to sleep on the eight hour drive and to save one night in the hotel. The drive was very cheap, about 2200 RUB (30 ) for both ways. We arrived early in the

8 morning at about 4 o clock. Because we couldn t check in before 12 o clock, we started to inquire the city center, which is close to the main train station. We spend four days in Moscow and got an insight in the Russian city and visited the main sightseeings and museums, in which we were interested. This experience was definitely worth its money. Our last trip was a ferry trip to Helsinki, Stockholm and Tallinn. I highly recommend this trip, because we only paid about 76 for this trip and you really see a lot. The ferry is called Anastasia and you can book this trip online. The trip takes five days. You always have one day in every city. This is enough to see the main sights of the city. If you want to travel outside of Russia, like we did you need to wait until you get your multi visa from the administration office in the dormitory. I can recommend travelling in Russia, because driving by train in Russia is very cheap and also you get cheap accommodations Other free time activities I can highly recommend going to the theater. Me and my friends went to the Mariinski Theater, one of the most famous theaters in the world. We went there to see Swan Lake. And this was just impressive. The tickets are not very cheap, but they are worth their money. Also you can go the cinema to watch either Russian movies or English movies. Another free time activity is doing sports, if you are interested in it. There are lots of gyms close to the dormitory, where you can do sports, also the university offers a sports program. 4. Cost of Living To have a look on how much money you need to calculate for one semester in St. Petersburg, you can have a look at the following table. Of course, the cost of living not just depends on the how much money you have to spend, also on all your leisure time

9 activities, travelling and on the exchange rates. During my semester the RUB was very low in value, so for us it was good, because we got more RUB for our EUR. The Cost of Living table show you my spending to have a point of reference. Cost of living per month Leisure time activities dormitory ~ 77 /month food ~ 150 /month clothes ~ 100 /month tuition fee / gym ~ 55 /6 month metro ~0,50 / drive cinema ~ 5 anticafé ~ 2 /h restaurants ~ 15 fast food restaurants ~ 7 travelling ~500

10 5. Results All in all, I need to say, that this semester abroad in St. Petersburg was a great experience. I am happy, that I had the chance to spend this semester there. It was very interesting to get to know the culture and Russian people, because living in Russia is definitely different to living in Germany. Also I improved my Russian language skills. Because almost nobody of the natives can speak English, you are forced to speak the Russian Language. I met a lot of great people and we had a great time together. We visited almost all sights and spent lots of time in the city center. St. Petersburg is a unique city, with so many impressive buildings. Also, if you have the chance to spend your semester in spring in St. Petersburg, like I did, you will have a great time in summer during the white nights. Then the sun will rise up at 3 o'clock and the bridges will be open. This is definitely worth to see. I need to say, that I highly recommend a semester in St. Petersburg at the Graduate School of Management!

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