Case Studies - Arkhangelsk
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King Edward VI High School for Girls in Arkhangelsk

"The trip is both academic and cultural"

Paul Barrett, Head of Russian, takes his class on an exciting visit every two years to St Petersburg and Arkhangelsk.

"We take girls who are studying Russian to GCSE and also to A level, though on the past two occasions it has been just the GCSE group. They are Year 10, who have been studying Russian for about 6 months. It is part of a two year course to GCSE. We have a link with School no. 21 in Arkhangelsk, which the British Council helped me to find some ten years ago. The Russian girls come to stay with us first, in January, and our return visit is in March/April."

"On arrival in Arkhangelsk, we begin with a walk around town, including a walk on the frozen river, reading signs and practising a bit of spoken Russian, such as asking passers-by for directions to places we don't want to go to and going into shops to buy things we don't want. The second and subsequent days are spent with the Russian girls. Our girls attend some English lessons as 'live exhibits' and we are taken to various museums and concert performances in town. The stay always includes a visit to Malie Karely, an open air museum in the country outside Arkhangelsk."

"An important part of the stay is the opportunity for the girls to spend time with their Russian partners and to visit their families. We chose Arkhangelsk for the exchange link for the very reason that it is remote (the 26 hour train journey underlines this!). Few tourists or foreigners go there, the climate is very different from Saint Petersburg and Moscow (colder and more snow) and the people are friendly, patient and welcoming, a real contrast to Moscow."

"We also spend a few days in Saint Petersburg, where we see the sights. Our usual itinerary includes the Hermitage, Museum of Political History, Peter and Paul Fortress etc. This year we found ourselves with a few hours in Moscow whilst waiting for our train and we took the opportunity to show our delighted girls the beauty of Red Square."

"The trip to St Petersburg and Arkhangelsk helps put into context the work we do in the classroom, and is an important factor in the students' frequent decision to continue studying Russian to A level, and often beyond. We want to thank TCBC for the excellent work they do in helping us to organise this very specific and customised itinerary."

For more details on our school tours to Russia, please click here