Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Recipient Profile: Eva Kuras

Eva Kuras reflects on the beating the summer heat while living abroad on the Eurasian Regional Language Program in Dushanbe, Tajikistan as a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad scholarship recipient. The first week was the hardest. The heat was intense: dry but still sweltering. I worried that my jean skirt was too short, although it almost hit …

Continue reading Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Recipient Profile: Eva Kuras

My Internship in Dushanbe

This past summer I was able to study Persian in Dushanbe, Tajikistan with the help of American Councils. For Persian language, options for an immersive overseas experience are few and far between. Tajikistan is one of the only places that speaks a form of Persian as its national language and American citizens can safely travel …

Continue reading My Internship in Dushanbe

My Favorite Memories of Tajikistan

As my time in Tajikistan has progressed, my favorite moments have been with my host family and bonding with the young children, as well as sharing other cultures including my own with them. Two highlights were taking my host family to this cinema where we saw Toy Story 4, of course in Russian, and another …

Continue reading My Favorite Memories of Tajikistan

Excursion to Khujand, Tajikistan

One of the perks of the Eurasian Regional Language Program are the frequent excursions that take place during the weekends. I recently had my last and longest excursion of this summer. Together with the other ERLP students in Dushanbe, we went on a three-day trip to Khujand, Tajikistan’s northern capital and second-largest city. Although I …

Continue reading Excursion to Khujand, Tajikistan

Gardens of Dushanbe

The closeness to nature that is experienced throughout Tajikistan is also reflected in the multitude of gardens that the capital, Dushanbe, contains. Many of them originate from the Soviet era, but the Tajik government has also clearly placed a lot of effort in constructing new ones, especially those surrounding the Nowruz Palace. Overall, the city’s …

Continue reading Gardens of Dushanbe

Visiting a Jailau in Kazakhstan

Though Kazakhs pride themselves on their nomadic legacy, very few Kazakhs still engage in nomadic pastoralism. Due to the forced sedentarization started under Imperial Russian control and intensified under the Soviet Union in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Kazakhs today almost entirely live in apartments and houses. The yurt, and the way of life …

Continue reading Visiting a Jailau in Kazakhstan

Kazakh Wedding Ceremonies

I arrived in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, to a very busy host family. In addition to welcoming a curious American into their house for the summer, they were also preparing for one of the three to four ceremonies (spread out over a few months) that comprise a Kazakh wedding. This particular ceremony, called the sırğa …

Continue reading Kazakh Wedding Ceremonies

Exploring the Outdoors in Tajikistan

With most of the country covered in mountainous terrain, Tajikistan is a heaven for anyone who enjoys hiking and being outdoors. Within a few hours’ driving distance from the capital Dushanbe, there are numerous excellent locations for trekking, especially in the Zerafshan Valley and in the Fan Mountains. Further away, the Pamir Mountains offer far-removed …

Continue reading Exploring the Outdoors in Tajikistan