My First Time Abroad

   When asked about how my trip is going, I am usually at a loss for words at first. This trip holds the distinction of not only being my first time inside Russia, but also the first time I have ever left the United States. I did not even have a passport until I decided …

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Learning a New Language

Coming to Tajikistan to study Uzbek may seem counterintuitive, but if you have been to the northern suburbs of Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital, and paid attention to the street chatter, you might have noticed that, alongside the familiar cadence of the Tajiki Persian dialect, you can find people of all ages speaking Uzbek to each other. …

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Reflecting on a Summer in Sarajevo

I stand atop Trebević in the midst of a lush green mountainside forest. Nearby is a raw concrete structure tagged heavily with graffiti- the luge track from the '84 Winter Olympics. One of the cities' most noted tourist attractions, this is amongst my favorite locations for the fantastic view it provides- all the while giving …

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7 Lessons in 7 Days: My First Week in Russia

DAY 1: Finally, I’m in St. Petersburg -- the moment I’ve been waiting for! After how many years, I am finally here. However, it’s hard to know what to think after being in a plane for 15 hours. It’s hard to know how to take in all the Cyrillic alphabet that surrounds me as I …

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Finding and Escaping Normalization in Tbilisi

You find what you’re made of when you go solo on a program. Over one year ago, I decided that Eurasian Regional Language Program was best to pair with my Boren Scholarship application, because of the intensive 15+ hours of language lessons each week. I felt that this was what I needed to reach my …

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10 Things to be Sure to do in Moscow

As we reach the two-weeks-left stage, it seems appropriate to share some comments and advice on what to be sure to do in Moscow for those who are coming on the program in future semesters. Especially if you are coming for the summer program, it is important to make time to go do/see what interests …

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