Welcome to Sarajevo

I arrived in Sarajevo on June 12th of 2015. Within an hour of landing I found myself in an apartment building in Alipašno Polje, about 20 minutes by tram outside of the city, with a family that did not speak a word of English. While I have worked hard to teach myself Bosnian (or “BCS” … Continue reading Welcome to Sarajevo


A Week with a Russian Babushka

Of course they warned us. Before departing from Washington, D.C. we were told all about the frank and honest nature of the Russian people, the worlds of difference between our modes of self-expression, forms of etiquette, and so on. The honesty received from our Resident Directors and other American Councils staff during orientation was much … Continue reading A Week with a Russian Babushka

No, Not the Telephone

Not every memorable moment abroad is related to an eye-opening experience or an event that changes your understanding of yourself or the world around you. Those moments happen, of course, more frequently when you’ve just arrived in a new country and more sporadically as time passes by and you become more acquainted with the new … Continue reading No, Not the Telephone

Cross-Cultural Communication

About two years ago I arrived to Russia for my first time. With almost two years of studying Russian under my belt, I was ready to be fluent. That is, or so I thought. Russian hadn’t come particularly easy to me, but I could sense the significant progress I had made since beginning studying the … Continue reading Cross-Cultural Communication

Tajikistan? Where’s That?

Tajikistan? Where’s that? What are you doing there? Why do you want to go there? Is it dangerous? Be careful! In the weeks leading up to the beginning of the Eurasian Regional Language Program (ERLP), I was frequently asked these questions by just about anyone I mentioned it to. Admittedly, even though I had traveled … Continue reading Tajikistan? Where’s That?

A Californian Braving the Russian Winter

I was warned that Russia would be cold but I guess I didn’t quite understand what it means to be cold. When I was home in California before I left for Russia I bought a coat, a pair of gloves, and my mom showered me in sweaters and hats concerned about her little California girl … Continue reading A Californian Braving the Russian Winter

Living Abroad: Changing the Way you See the World

The first time I went to Russia was in the spring of 2006. I lived in Saint Petersburg, with a host family for a week on the outskirts of the city in a Soviet-era apartment building. During the day, I would go to school in a different part of the city, but always the same … Continue reading Living Abroad: Changing the Way you See the World