The Towers of Baku, Azerbaijan

We’ve been in Baku for about a month, and we’ve been fascinated by all of the history here. We think that a brief introduction to the history of Baku will help you appreciate your visit. People have been living in Baku’s territory since the Stone Age, so Baku’s architectural scenery is somewhat of a paradox, …

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Shukov and the Russian Avant Garde: Always Leading

The Russian Avant Garde is one of my favorite artistic and architectural movements in the history of Russian art. Famous for such artists as Natalia Goncharova, El Lissitsky and Vladimir Kandinsky, the cultural impact of this movement is visible everywhere around the capital in the form of well-known landmarks as well as lesser-known but nonetheless …

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Terms of Endearment (Russian Edition)

When it comes to learning a new language, people do not often think about how difficult it is to express affection or emotion. In English, using terms of endearment is not difficult; it comes without thinking. Yet, in a new language, one has to make the conscious decision to try and use these terms, but …

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Finding a Common Language Abroad

Tajikistan is not a country with a large expat community. Outside of the eager locals who approach me on the street almost daily, hoping for a chance to practice their English, I don’t often meet people in Tajikistan who speak English. Therefore, when I do get the opportunity to form a friendship with an expat, …

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Two Summits, One Semester

Merhaba! My name is Karenna, and I am a junior at the University of Pittsburgh where I am majoring in International Studies, English Writing, and Turkish. Before enrolling in American Councils’ Eurasian Regional Language Program (ERLP) I had taken two years of Turkish at Pitt. Although my dad is Turkish and I have visited Turkey …

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Dan Davidson Fellowship Essay: Kristen Vierrether

During my two months studying in Taiwan, every second of the day I was immersed in the local community. From the time I walked out of my dorm, saying good morning to the guard on duty, to the time I went to sleep after watching local television, I was surrounded in local culture, customs, and …

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Dan Davidson Fellowship Essay: Emili Yiu

This past summer I had the honor of receiving the Dan E. Davidson Fellowship, which allowed me to further my Chinese studies at National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan. Throughout my time in the program, I found myself gravitating to the locals in Tainan and wanting to learn more about Taiwanese culture. After classes …

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Dan Davidson Fellowship Essay: Samuel McKnight

“Russia and U.S.-Russia relations are what get me out of bed in the morning.” That’s what I told a political science class at Roanoke College, my home institution. The professor, after having heard about my experience and read some of my written work, had invited me to share about my thought and experience with his …

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