See what our team members are saying!
During working on the project I improved English communication skill, got experience of creation web-sites. Also we had workshops about creation of presentation and working with text, therefore had a possibility to improve this skills. Moreover, I found out a lot of cool people in US and Tomsk.
The Peer2Peer program truly enriched my understanding of Russian culture. During my time working with the Russian team in the United States I was able to help guide them through the diverse range of American culture and answer any questions they had. While in Tomsk, Russia, I was able to learn many things about Russian culture that was previously unknown to me. One example of Russian culture that I found particularly interesting was learning about the history of the Cossacks. Our group was able to visit a recreated Cossack fort and see how they lived from day to day. Overall, my time in Russia has helped me understand that despite how different some parts of our culture are, Russians and Americans have more in common than most would imagine. For example, both Russians and Americans are very patriotic and have have strong sense of national pride.
Hosting and getting to experience Russian culture in Tomsk firsthand is one of the most meaningful programs I’ve had the fortune to be a part of. Growing up, it seemed like Russians and Americans were such different people. Historically, our countries have been on opposite sides or competing often, and I didn’t realize how much my expectations had been colored by these stereotypes until this summer.
Participating in the P2P program was rewarding on many levels. The trip was so organized that I was really able to experience a wide variety of cultural attractions in a short time span. I feel so grateful that I was able to experience a different culture than my own by interacting with the TPU students on a frequent basis, and the opportunity to travel to Siberia (somewhere I'd never thought I'd go), was immensely rewarding. In another aspect, traveling with my peers from CSU was also a wonderful experience because I was able to get to know them on a deeper level, which is important to me because we spend so much time together in school. I was touched at how hospitable the Russian students were!
Nothing expresses my experience in the P2P project better than a catch phrase used by Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm: “Good. Pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.”
I am so grateful that I was able to participate in this peer-to-peer dialogue program. I never could have imagined, even just one year ago, that I would get the opportunity to collaborate and become friends with a group of Russian university students from Tomsk, Siberia. I have learned so much over the course of this program, particularly from my time traveling to Tomsk. I’ve learned like what it’s like to travel for 36 hours straight, what borsch, beef tongue, and chicken hearts taste like, what typical Russian buses and apartments look like, where toilet paper does (or does not) belong in restrooms, and, of course, how amazingly hospitable and kind our hosts were. One thing that I was really excited to learn about was Cossack culture in Russia. I had never heard of it before, and I found many parallels between their traditional, warrior-like, self-sufficient, and patriotic views to our own ‘Rednecks’ or ‘American Cowboys’ in the United States.