Special Moments in Russia

Weeks have passed in a blur. I distinctly remember debating fruit rankings with my coworkers, exploring breathtaking churches, travelling alone to St. Petersburg, and even celebrating my 21st birthday. Distinct moments such as these are only tiny capsules of memory frozen in time that, when added together, I’ve realized are wholly insufficient to describe the …

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Examining Perceptions of Armenia

Before coming to Armenia, I had a very narrow understanding of what Armenia was. I think I had the same misconception as many people from the US did, that Armenia was just a country that had been greatly impacted by its historical tragedies. The Armenian Genocide, repression under the Soviet Union, the destructive earthquake in …

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A Day in the Life in Moscow

After having been in Moscow for almost six weeks now, there are some things that have started to fall into place and become almost routine, normal even.  I have found that I have essentially same routine day after day: I wake up, have breakfast while taking an easy morning, go to my internship, have lunch …

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At the Grassroots Level

I intern with the Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) in Chisinau.  The Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) is a non-profit organization that advocates and promotes community development in rural communities throughout Moldova.  Formerly known as Ograda Noastra NGO, IRI works especially with disadvantaged communities.  Considering the level of underdevelopment throughout Moldova, the work of IRI …

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Food Culture and Options in Moscow

I grew up in San Francisco with a Russian family. Borsch, kotlety, pelmeni, pierogi and olivye salad were household staples for the longest of time for me. But all of those “traditional” Russian foods are dependent on each family on how they are made, and what they feature. For example, I grew up not liking …

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My Internship at the NUST MISiS FabLab

I’m approaching the fourth quarter of my internship at the MISiS FabLab and I couldn’t be more pleased with my time here. Having studied industrial design for four years before coming here, I have learned a lot about design, and I really just needed a domain to hone my skills and knowledge and also the …

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A Trip to Sergiev Posad

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of taking part in an excursion to Sergiev Posad, which is a small, historical city a few hours by train outside of Moscow. This was an unplanned and pleasantly wonderful daytrip, where I was introduced to students on partner American Councils programs and where I was able to …

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A Day in the Life of an Intern in Moscow

Since June I have been working alongside three other Americans at a lab in Moscow. The FabLab is a fabrication lab that supports several programs hosted at the Moscow Institute of Steels and Alloys (MISIS, including the Master of Digital Fabrication program. Though day to day projects vary, the general schedule of life stays the …

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