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Joy Bashara-Ingram

Visit to Novosibirsk

Hello. My name is Rachel Peterson. I live in the US in a town called Superior, Wisconsin. I live with my mother and father, and have one sister. I came to Novosibirsk through a program that was offered at our school. The program is for us to learn about the difference in our educations. In the fall of 2002, some Russian students from Gymnasium #5 came over and stayed with us for three weeks. It was a great experience for us to have them with us, to hear their inputs on our school and our everyday life. I am now here living with them and experiencing their everyday life and school life. It has been a great experience so far. The hardest thing that I've had to go through is the language. Not understanding Russian has been very hard for me to interact with some of the people I have met. Most of them have been very understanding and they have translated for me and helped me talk to these people.
There have been some interesting experiences for me. In Russia, they do a lot more walking then we ever do in the US. Since they can't drive until they are 18, it's the only way for them to get around. They also use public transportation a lot more. They have some actual buses, but most of their 'buses' are actually large vans. Walking around Russia has been an interesting experience for me. They have little path ways through their snow banks and a person just walks around on those. They seem to drive a lot faster here than at home. They don't have lines to define their different lanes, so they drive all over the road. It's something to get used to.
Everyone's been very nice to me, and has helped me in different ways. In school, there are many people who come up and talk to me and ask me different questions. The teachers are very nice, especially the English teachers. I haven't had a bad experience, and I will really enjoy my stay.