Saints Explore Russia

Saints Explore Russia

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A small contingent from Siena College journeyed to Russia for a week in May as part of a travel course on Russian foreign policy.

Sixteen students were led by two faculty members: Dr. Ausra Park, assistant professor of political science, and Elaine Phelan, professional specialist in taxation. They visited the country's largest cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg, traveling on a bullet train between the two.

"The students have made great friends here," said Dr. Park. "Both cities are very international, so we were able to meet other tourists from other nations. We did not experience any security issues."

The group saw the Romanov palaces, the historic Kremlin complex and the seat of the Russian president, among other sites. They also tried unique cuisine from the Caucasus republics (Republic of Georgia) and Central Asia (Uzbekistan).

"This was a feat for many of us," Dr. Park joked.

The various sites made a distinct impression on the Siena group.

"As as we toured the Romanov palaces, one student remarked, 'In the past two days I’ve seen more gold than I have over my entire life up to this point,'” said Dr. Park. "It is truly breathtaking to see the opulence that the tsarist family enjoyed before the political regime changed in Russia."