A Little Sun-Kissed

I guess you can say that this is a continuation of my first blog, “Being Black in Russia” where I felt like like I was constantly being identified as the "outsider" and I learned  owning my blackness is the key to taking advantage of my opportunities here. There’s not going to be a clear connection between …

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On the Value of Language Cafes

On Saturday, I told my host mom that her cooking “stank” instead of saying it “smelled good.” This morning, when my new professor asked me when I’ll graduate college, I heard, “when did you wake up this morning” and told him “around 8.” In both cases, the sentences were phonetically close in Serbian and I …

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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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