During the three-day stopover in London, I learned that less than 25% of the group to St. Petersburg can speak Russian. The majority has either never taken it before (i.e. does not even know the alphabet) or can speak limitedly (i.e. one semester). Although this makes me more confident about my Russian abilities after the equivalent of nine semesters of Russian, I was hoping to be able to be challenged by my peers more. Perhaps, I will just have to be challenged by my professors.
Currently we are waiting for our gate to board our flight to Peter. Most of the other students go to American colleges and universities with which I am unfamiliar, but most of them have heard of Georgetown. It will be an intersting transition from the "coldest January in London" (20s-30s degrees Farenheit) to a typically cold winter in St. Petersburg--negative degrees to 20s and even mid-thirties. Hurrah! It won't be so different from Chicago then--well, the weather, that is.
I may not have internet for the next few days to a week, but I will try to stay in contact as much as possible after we settle into our dorms!