Examining Perceptions of Armenia

Before coming to Armenia, I had a very narrow understanding of what Armenia was. I think I had the same misconception as many people from the US did, that Armenia was just a country that had been greatly impacted by its historical tragedies. The Armenian Genocide, repression under the Soviet Union, the destructive earthquake in …

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Immersion and Excursions in Taiwan

Being in the second-to-last week of the Taiwan Intensive Summer Program has been a very beneficial experience for me. For example, I was able to learn so much in a short amount of time, raise my level of Chinese proficiency, and being able to be more open towards others. I really like learning Chinese in …

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A Day in the Life in Moscow

After having been in Moscow for almost six weeks now, there are some things that have started to fall into place and become almost routine, normal even.  I have found that I have essentially same routine day after day: I wake up, have breakfast while taking an easy morning, go to my internship, have lunch …

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Conversing with Others in a New Language

I came to Taiwan this summer primarily in order to raise my language level to assist with my research. However, what I treasure most about studying Chinese is not the professional benefits, but the opportunity to communicate with people. The struggles of learning a new language cannot compare with the wonder I have experienced of …

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First Impressions of the Georgian language

  Well, I have officially been learning Georgian for six days now. Let me tell you, it is a very difficult language. Being from Texas, the first foreign language I ever studied was Spanish, in part because my high school had a limited foreign languages department, and because I had been taking Spanish classes since …

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Hiking and Other Excursions

On July 7th, the Peace and Security in the South Caucasus program went to the towns of Mtshketa, Gori, and Tserovani. Mtshketa is a town located just outside the capital city of Tblisi. It is situated in a valley within the surrounding mountains. One of the very striking aspects of Mtshketa are the mountains which …

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Kazakh Wedding Ceremonies

I arrived in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, to a very busy host family. In addition to welcoming a curious American into their house for the summer, they were also preparing for one of the three to four ceremonies (spread out over a few months) that comprise a Kazakh wedding. This particular ceremony, called the sırğa …

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