A Trip to Novi Sad

The four of us recently took a trip to Serbia’s second major city, Novi Sad. According to one legend, the city got its name from an ancient tradition: a long time ago when people were still living mostly around the Petrovaradin fortress, newly married couples would cross the Danube and plant a tree to signify … Continue reading A Trip to Novi Sad


Falling for a city

A post from RLASP Spring 2017 participant, Nadezhda Braun.

ND to St. Petersburg

A few days ago I tried to purchase a painting at an outdoor art market across the street from my apartment. Despite the variety beautiful pieces of the city, I found myself at a loss. None of them seemed to capture the light in this city that is so infatuating. How even on the cold, gray, and icy days there is still an inherent beauty in how the street lamps illuminate the snow falling. Or how the light from the sunset hits the multicolor buildings and makes them glow. The light of St. Petersburg seems to create a sense of magic and mystery.

IMG_1974 I started a habit of taking sunset pictures after this day.

It is this sense of magic that makes St. Petersburg, and in turn, the Russian language and culture, so fascinating for me to learn about. It is a language, contrary to popular belief, of love, life…

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Places To Visit In St. Petersburg: Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery

A typically untraditional place to visit in Saint Petersburg is the Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery (Пискарёвское мемориа́льное кла́дбище), located further away from the center of Saint Petersburg. In order to get there you will need to take both the metro and the bus. The cemetery contains almost 500,000 Russians in 186 mass graves who died during … Continue reading Places To Visit In St. Petersburg: Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery

How to Make the Most of your Time in St. Petersburg: 8 Recommendations

1. Explore the neighborhood you live in and don’t only stay on Nevsky Prospect. While there are many incredible things to see along Nevsky Prospect, the main drag, staying off Nevsky will allow you to see other attractions without the crowds of foreign and domestic tourists as well as helping to improve your Russian, as … Continue reading How to Make the Most of your Time in St. Petersburg: 8 Recommendations

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 … Continue reading 7 Lessons in 7 Days: My First Week in Russia

Nights at the Museum: Finding Family

People come to Russia for unique reasons. Everything here is too complicated, twisted, fifty shades of gray plus fifty thousand more colors you can’t see, for someone to come just “to enjoy.” The snow doesn’t stick: it’s wet and dirty. The air is black and it always feels like one o’clock in the morning. However, … Continue reading Nights at the Museum: Finding Family

Kuhistoni Badakhshan

At 6 am on September 21st, seven students and I crammed into two jeeps and headed east. Although it was still hot in Dushanbe, we carried backpacks filled with sweaters and jackets; we were told that it would be cold up on the “Roof of the World.” Our excursion to Badakhshan would take us across … Continue reading Kuhistoni Badakhshan

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 … Continue reading 10 Things to be Sure to do in Moscow

Excursion Through Southern Russia

We just recently returned from our end-of-semester trip down in Southern Russia. Spring came early for us because the temperatures were in the high 70s when we were there, while back in Saint Petersburg the temperatures were only in the high 40s. The first step of our trip brought us to Rostov-na-Donu, where we stayed … Continue reading Excursion Through Southern Russia