Excursions in Almaty

Being in Almaty, I have been given the opportunity to experience several cultural experiences.  Some of these are required excursions, others are events of my own accord.  I hope by sharing these experiences, others will be inspired to visit Kazakhstan. Last semester, I visited Altyn Emel National Park.  A huge expanse of steppe with no …

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Russian Dance Class

As part of our language learning on program, we have a Russian dance class twice a week. The first dance we learned is called Кадриль (Kadril) which was very popular in Russian cities and villages during the 19th century, although the dance did not originate in Russia. By learning the dance, we learn different verbs …

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4 Ways to Improve Your Study Abroad Experience

After studying for a full academic year in Almaty, Kazakhstan, I’m ready to return home and share my experiences with family and friends. Studying abroad has forced me to ponder realities about myself and society. I feel more mature as a result. I’ll think about my experiences for many years to come. However, studying abroad …

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Leaving My Comfort Zone

Another month has flown by in Moscow, and suddenly I find myself over halfway through this program. I realized that fear holds me back more than anything else, but I’m still having trouble shaking it. On weekends, I feel uncomfortable going places by myself because I’m afraid that some sort of miscommunication with result in …

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Language Immersion Will Teach You About Life

“Я сам” (“I am myself”). That’s what I said to my barista this morning when, after months of serving my coffee, he asked me my name. Did I mean to say this? No. Did he laugh? Yes, along with everyone who heard it. To be sure, it is a very laughable answer to a commonplace …

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Dealing with Language Fatigue

When I first came to Saint Petersburg, I was absolutely overwhelmed. I came from a casual four hours of Russian a week, in which Russian wasn’t mandatory when speaking. I knew what I was about to begin would not be easy, and like all other language-lovers, the academic challenge was exciting for me. We all …

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