In Sickness and in Health

While I did not travel anywhere distant this spring break, which in Azerbaijan took place during the Novruz holiday, I had the opportunity to experience first-hand some fundamental Azerbaijani customs. First, the terrible cold which has been taking down Baku’s citizenry all winter, finally hit me the last week of classes. My host mom came … Continue reading In Sickness and in Health


Holidays in Almaty

It’s been about a month and one week since I first came to Almaty...I can’t believe how fast time has gone!  This blog post will be featuring two holidays/celebrations I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of. Eid al-Fitr or Озара айт This year Ramadan took place from late May until late June, so … Continue reading Holidays in Almaty

Navigating the Waters of Fluid Dynamics in Kazakhstan

It was early February, one of the coldest weeks in Almaty. The wind blew past my teacher, program director, and me as we searched for the Physics building on the main campus of our university. I could feel my nerves heightening, but this day had been long awaited. We found the lecture hall, but having … Continue reading Navigating the Waters of Fluid Dynamics in Kazakhstan

On Birthdays and Celebrations in Kazakhstan

I must admit that I was a little bit apprehensive about living with a Kazakh host family for the summer as a 30-year-old PhD candidate. It is difficult enough to play the appropriate roles when I visit my own parents! But so far, I have had nothing short of an amazing experience. A week into … Continue reading On Birthdays and Celebrations in Kazakhstan

Its More Than Just a Day of Victory

Yesterday was the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany. День Победы, as it is known in Russian, marks a day of tradition, pride, and remembrance of those who served in the Great Patriotic War. That’s the official description at least. For all the Russians that I've met here in Moscow, the day holds … Continue reading Its More Than Just a Day of Victory

Host Families in Central Asia

After deciding to apply to American Councils’ Eurasian Regional Language Program in Tajikistan, one of the aspects of the program that made me a bit apprehensive, and about which my friends and family were most curious, was the requirement that all participants live with a Tajik host family. Of course, the reasons were clear and … Continue reading Host Families in Central Asia

Kazan: Sports Capital of Russia

Throughout Russia, the city of Kazan and the capital of Tatarstan is renowned as a sports capital. It’s a fact unlikely to escape even the briefest of visitors, as stadiums and sporting venues dot the skyline and banners advertising last summer’s Universiade games still hang proudly along Bauman Street, the main pedestrian thoroughfare downtown. Meet … Continue reading Kazan: Sports Capital of Russia

An Alternative Winter Break

During winter break I elected not to travel home, and instead spent some time in Ukraine. A couple of days after classes ended, I flew to Kiev, where I met my father. We spent a week together touring the city’s cathedrals, Great Patriotic War monuments and museums, and of course stopping by Maidan to get … Continue reading An Alternative Winter Break

Fall Break: A Time to Travel

One of the most anticipated aspects of the Fall semester for any student is the Fall or Thanksgiving break. While we may not get a week, or even a few days, off here, the Russian Government was kind enough to salvage a Soviet Holiday for the students; replacing the holiday of the October Revolution with … Continue reading Fall Break: A Time to Travel

Weekend in Moscow

I’ve returned from Moscow, safe and sound! It was my first taste of travel, and I have to say, I absolutely loved it, and I can’t wait to travel again. Hands down one of the best weekends of my life—not THE best, but it’s definitely up there. Thursday was a busy day. I intended to … Continue reading Weekend in Moscow