• Jacob Reshetar

    Jacob Reshetar

    Class of 2015
    Coon Rapids, MN
    Biochemistry and Philosophy, Pre-Med

    Jacob's Bio:
    I have explored a wealth of incredible opportunities and experiences at CSS. While preparing for a career in medicine, I have pursued biochemical and philosophic studies while serving as a Residential Advisor and Student Senator. My passions inspired me to participate in multiple international service-learning and study abroad events in Guatemala, Nicaragua and China. While completing a fifth year through CSS to fulfill my philosophy degree, I have chosen to explore an exciting opportunity to study abroad aboard a transatlantic voyage: Semester at Sea.

  • Laila Zemar

    Casablanca, Morocco
    Biochemistry, Biology and Pre-med

    Katelyn Gehling

    East Bethel, MN
    Exercise Physiology for Pre-Physical Therapy

    Kathryn McCarrick

    Saint Paul, MN
    Elementary Education

    Bryan Chavez

    Richfield, MN
    Accounting and Finance

  • Halle Nystrom

    Graduate Student
    Fargo, ND
    M.S. Health Information Management

    Shauney Moen

    Graduate Student
    Oak Grove, MN
    Doctorate of Physical Therapy

    Shivani Singh

    Mumbai, India
    Management & Marketing

    Malvern Madondo

    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Mathematics & Computer Science

  • Laura Salazar

    Bogotá, Colombia
    Marketing and Business Management

    Neena Koslowski

    Apple Valley, MN

    Takudzwa Munjanja

    Gweru, Zimbabwe
    Health Information Management, CIS minor

    Jason Chavez

    Minneapolis, MN
    Psychology, Organizational Behavior, and Social Work

  • Yael Ikoba-Ndjip

    Brussels, Belgium
    Accounting Major; Finance minor

    Brooke Elvehjem

    Mora, MN

    Jin Baek

    Aurora, CO
    Biology and Chemistry (Pre-Med)

    Conrado Eiroa Solans

    Madrid, Spain
    Psychology Major, Biology minor

  • Daniela Moreno Gomez

    San Salvador, El Salvador
    Computer Information Systems and Finance

From Russia with love

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Saint Petersburg, Russia

The frigid winds, overcast weather, and industrial scenery in the port of Saint Petersburg cast a darkly intriguing mood over the students as we entered Russia on August 28th. Given that the vast majority of the students aboard the MV-Explorer had never been to Russia, much of our cultural education and inference was grounded in prototypical Hollywood stereotypes and misleading, militaristic news broadcasts covering the recent conflicts in Ukraine. In any case, we were all anxious and excited to explore a country that was so incredibly mysterious.

Since I had chosen to participate in field programs instead of purchasing a Russian visa, my first day in Saint Petersburg, Russia was filled with exciting excursions into the city accompanied by Russian guides who were excellent English speakers. My day began immediately after breakfast with a, “Canal river tour and city orientation.” At the stroke of 8AM, 60 students, including myself, boarded massive deck boats on the spacious canals of Saint Petersburg. Throughout our tour, we were shown many of the great palaces of Saint Petersburg and the home of the city’s founder, Peter the Great. Intriguingly, Peter the Great took an immeasurable amount of influence from the Dutch while building Saint Petersburg, which resulted in massive canal systems and strikingly European architecture throughout the city. As Peter the Great once said, “Saint Petersburg will be the Venice of the North.”

We frequented a coffee shop along the way and I purchased a piece of Russian cake called, “Drunk Cherry.” The freshly baked cake was prepared with a hint of Russian vodka in the dough which brought out rich flavors in the warm cherry and chocolate notes. After sipping on a fresh cappucino, I felt revitalized from the bustling winds in the canals and we soon made our way back to the ship in anticipation for another program I was enrolled in for that evening.

After supper, I returned to my room to prepare for a Russian ballet. Never before had I attended a ballet, and I was most excited about the incredible opportunity to experience the world-renowned performances of the Russian ballerinas in Saint Petersburg. After arriving at the symphony hall with my dapper cohort, we enjoyed what was the most incredible display of grace and fierce athleticism that I have ever witnessed. Truly, the serenade of the orchestra in tandem with the finesse of the performers elicited an awesome and mystifying experience. (You will find a photo of the concert hall before the performance.)

Amidst the interactions with guides and amazing experiences in exploring the city of Saint Petersburg and their refined arts, I was less skeptical about the Russian people and far more curious. A suspicion grew within me that, perhaps, the Russian people, amidst their unique culture and lifestyles, have far more in common with Americans than I would think. For the experiences I encountered on my first day, and the hospitality of the people in Saint Petersburg, I am most grateful and inspired by my encounters in Russia.

More is sure to come on my adventures in the Motherland. Stay tuned.

“From Russia with love,”

Jacob Reshetar

The port at Saint Petersburg

The port at Saint Petersburg




The Drunk Cherry




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