Добро пожаловать в Казахстан

I had very few expectations in mind when my plane touched down in Almaty. I was both mentally and physically exhausted from traveling for almost 48 hours straight, and as soon as I approached customs, I knew that my language skills were lacking, to say the least. I figured that this semester would be challenging …

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There’s a Washing Machine in My Kitchen —Cultural Observations and Shocks

While walking through the streets of my new home, Almaty, Kazakhstan, I can almost hear Green Day’s “American Idiot” pulsing through my brain. “Don’t wanna’ be an American Idiot,” is the goal, but the execution sometimes falls short. Often, these apparent blunders are not informed by the Russian language, as I expected before departure; rather, …

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My First Month in Saint Petersburg

When I decided to come to Saint Petersburg to study abroad, I didn’t know what to expect. I hoped, of course, that I would have a great semester and that my language speaking abilities would improve. However, I wanted to avoid setting unrealistic expectations, and having them disappointed. I decided to make myself a few …

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First Impression in Moscow, Russia

My first impressions of Moscow during my first month here have been overwhelmingly positive. There are many aspects of this city and culture that I enjoy when comparing with the American culture that I am familiar with. I might not be able to go into depth on all of them, but I will mention a …

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Learning from My Host Family in Almaty

I have only been in Kazakhstan for three weeks, yet I feel like I have already learned a semester’s worth of knowledge. I have traveled to other countries before on vacation and have felt out of place, but never before in the state of culture shock and later cultural euphoria as I have in Almaty. …

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Crossing My Eyes and Dotting My Тыs

The population of St. Petersburg is only one million less than my entire state. I grew up across the street from a cornfield, and if I wanted to get anywhere I would either drive or spend most of my morning walking. I am grateful that in my lifetime I have had the privilege of seeing …

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Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Recipient Profile: Kate Crnkovich

Kate Crnkovich talks about accessing Russian culture through music while living abroad on the Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program in Moscow as a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad scholarship recipient.   All my life I have loved accordion music, though I never thought I would finally be able to explore that during my summer …

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Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Recipient Profile: Dante Moreno

Dante Moreno reflects on the rewards of living with a host family while abroad on the Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program in Moscow as a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad scholarship recipient.   Even though I spent only eight short weeks with my Russian “family” in Moscow, I was warmly welcomed into the daily …

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