DELAWARE, Ohio — Amanda Hays, of Winthrop, a senior at Ohio Wesleyan University, took part in an OWU Connection Experience: “Summer in the Land of the Firebird,” a month-long, three-pronged project in St. Petersburg, Russia. The project was supported by an Ohio Wesleyan-funded Theory-to-Practice Grant, part of The OWU Connection, according to a news release from the university.

For her project, Hays traveled to St. Petersburg to complete an internship in June and July at the Hermitage State Museum.

“I got started right away, and was able to do many things during my month-long stay. On my first day, I was immediately placed into a group to work on a presentation project that was to justify a new temporary exhibition,” said Hays, according to the release.

She also completed coursework through the EDUCA Russian Language Center and took private lessons to improve her Russian language skills, and she conducted research at the Russian Ethnographic Museum for Ohio Wesleyan professor Stephanie Merkel, Ph.D. An associate professor of Comparative Literature, Merkel’s research focuses on Russian Romanticism and explores the intersection of poetry and fashion.

“Because my internship took up most of my time during the week, I was only able to take private lessons once a week for three hours (which equaled out to about 15 classes). Even though I wish I was further in my studies, the classes taught me where I need to work the hardest in order to improve,” said Hays, according to the release.

Hays is majoring in History and Pre-law, and minoring in Classics at the university.

“Part of why I decided to attend OWU was because of their amazingly robust study abroad program. There is so much more that is offered than just a semester abroad in a few select places. In addition to studying abroad, I also joined for OWU’s outstanding History Department and program along with being a legacy myself,” said Hays, according to the release.

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