From the 19th to the 31st of January 2011, a group of 20 students from years 11 and 12 took part of the Art & History trip to Russia. This is the second time that St. Andrew’s students have had the possibility to participate in this wonderful experience during which they visited not only Moscow and St. Petesburg, with their majestic architecture and vibrant rhythm, but also the small town of Suzdal in the quiet, white Russian countryside.
Accompanied by three teachers of the Art and History departments, the students enjoyed a wealth of experiences including visits to the Red Square, the Bolshoi theatre and the Hermitage museum. Taking part in traditional Russian activities such as painting matrioshkas (Russian dolls) and dressing up for a reenactment of a Russian wedding was also part of the itinerary. In the words of one of our students: “Even the people were different; they had different characteristics and faces. Not only was visiting Russia an incredible experience, but also having the opportunity of going with friends to visit it and learn about it was very exciting and lots of fun.”
The dramatic changes in Russian history - from the tradition of the Tsarist epoch, through the drastic transformations carried out under the communist regime, to the upheavals caused by the country’s conversion into the capitalist system – could be appreciated in its artistic expressions. Thus, the objective of the trip, which is to identify the ways in which social and artistic changes interact with one another, was successfully achieved.
According to the students:
“Especially in Moscow, one felt the different culture and politic systems it has had. We had great tour guides who explained absolutely everything about what we were seeing, making us really conscious of where we were and what historical importance those places have.”
“When I think of the trip to Russia, the first things that come to my mind are the snow-covered streets, the golden domes, the churches, palaces. It was a unique experience. Who’d have known that Russia was so beautiful?”
“Fue difícil al principio acostumbrarse a estar en un país distinto, donde no se entiendo lo que habla la gente, las letras y las palabras eran diferentes, por lo tanto no se entendían los carteles en la calle. Se puede decir que se sintió el choque cultural, que junto con el frío de -20ºC hicieron la experiencia más abrumadora y divertida.”
“It really felt like something of another world.”