After a brief orientation session and opening ceremony headed by the Summer program managing staff, this year's Russian Foreing Policy students transitioned right into their first academic lessons of the Summer. Two back-to-back lectures on contemporary Russian Foreign Policy and the challenges facing Russia and the International community with MGIMO’s Professor Yuriy Dubinin gave our students a glimpse at the scope of the subject matter that they would be covering in the coming three weeks.
MGIMO’s International Summer program has traditionally provided attending students with a rich extracurricular program on top of the fulfilling academic modules, and this year is no exception. On their very first day on campus, following a small break after class, our students were taken to one of the most beautiful and well known multi-functional recreational areas in Moscow, Gorky Park. The Summer School managers led treated our students on a tour of the park by bike, passing by and discussing several well known attractions, like the Statue of Peter the Great, the outdoor Muzeon museum of modern art, the contemporary Tretyakov Gallery, and the Gorky park and Neskuchniy Garden Embankment, eventually reaching the foothills of the Sparrow Hills observation deck - just below Moscow State University.
Following the bike tour, our students were treated to a trip down the Moscow River on a Radisson floating-restaurant cruise liner. As the evening went on, under the alluring light of the setting sun, our students enjoyed getting their first glance at the sights adorning Moscow River: Moscow City, the “Whitehouse” Government Building, Luzhniki Stadium, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and, of course, the unparalleled Moscow Kremlin, along with its neighboring St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Zaryadye parks “Floating bridge”.
A day that began deep in study in the early hours of the morning ended close to midnight, and our students - though a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of new sights they’d seen - were ecstatic about the overall experience, and interested in what to expect in the coming days.