Getting around in Russia

One aspect of Russia that I have come to appreciate over my time here is the amount of transportation services available to the public, from day to day bus rides around the city, to high speed trains like the “Lastochka”, that can be used to travel quickly to and from different regions.  Metro trains and … Continue reading Getting around in Russia

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Traveling in Russia

Russia is the largest country in the world by a fair margin. It spans two continents, eight time zones, and 194 distinct ethnic groups. There is not real way to understand the true expanse of Russia without journeying to the East. I am fortunate enough to have made the eastward trek twice, and I consider … Continue reading Traveling in Russia

Climbing the Language Barrier

While language learning has always been a huge passion of mine, over the last three years I have been actively learning the art of aerial dance. While this initially started out as just a hobby over the last year and a half I have been competing in aerial dance competitions and showcases in a few … Continue reading Climbing the Language Barrier

Living with a host family for the first time

There is a lot about studying abroad in a country so far away from and different than the US that could intimidate anyone. The distance from loved ones, the language barriers, the cultural differences—you name it. For it me, however, the prospect of living with a host family made me for the first time made … Continue reading Living with a host family for the first time

Kazakhstan’s EXPO 2017 – The Embodiment of Kazakhstan’s Ambitious Plans

Greetings from Almaty, Kazakhstan! I will be in Almaty for a semester through the American Councils’ Russian Language and Area Studies Program. Before I left, many people would ask me why I would be studying abroad in Kazakhstan. For many Americans, Kazakhstan generally perceived as a backwards country. This perception is usually fueled by Kazakhstan’s … Continue reading Kazakhstan’s EXPO 2017 – The Embodiment of Kazakhstan’s Ambitious Plans

Good Eats in Saint Petersburg

I’ve noticed a lot of American chain restaurants around Saint Petersburg, Russia, especially in the center of the city.  I haven’t stepped foot in any of them, though.  Why would I, when the traditional food here is nothing short of delicious?  Everything I’ve eaten has been so tasty that I’m not sure if my host … Continue reading Good Eats in Saint Petersburg

Arrival in Russia with Miscellaneous Thoughts on Language and Sleep Deprivation

Arriving in Moscow three weeks ago wasn’t quite what I expected.  That’s not to say that I had high expectations about what it would be like, but to come with a dazed, jet lag induced, stupor and headache was not something that I considered for any extended period.  Thus, any excitement, which I might have … Continue reading Arrival in Russia with Miscellaneous Thoughts on Language and Sleep Deprivation

First month in Kazakhstan: a Uighur Wedding Analogy

Before I left I was expecting to land in a different world. I mean: Kazakhstan! It seemed so far away, so foreign. But it seems that a recurring feeling that I have been having since I’ve been here is like a grandiose sense of expecting the unexpected but then being hit with something just weird. … Continue reading First month in Kazakhstan: a Uighur Wedding Analogy

The Stumbling Blocks of Returning to My Second Home

Oh my, oh my, I cannot even begin to express the joy I have felt being back in beautiful St. Petersburg, Russia. I am currently in my second year of graduate school and am pursuing a Master’s degree in Russian Studies and I am fortunate enough to say that this is not my first time … Continue reading The Stumbling Blocks of Returning to My Second Home