Living with a host family for the first time

There is a lot about studying abroad in a country so far away from and different than the US that could intimidate anyone. The distance from loved ones, the language barriers, the cultural differences—you name it. For it me, however, the prospect of living with a host family made me for the first time made … Continue reading Living with a host family for the first time

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The Stumbling Blocks of Returning to My Second Home

Oh my, oh my, I cannot even begin to express the joy I have felt being back in beautiful St. Petersburg, Russia. I am currently in my second year of graduate school and am pursuing a Master’s degree in Russian Studies and I am fortunate enough to say that this is not my first time … Continue reading The Stumbling Blocks of Returning to My Second Home

An Everyday Adventure

The kitchen of my host family's apartment is the center of all the best moments in their home - it's where I eat quiet breakfasts while studying before classes, where we gather at night to talk about our days over sweets and fresh fruit, and it's where I have gotten to know my hosts the … Continue reading An Everyday Adventure

Déjà Vu in Dushanbe

I was hit with an acute case of déjà vu as I disembarked from the plane at 4:30 am in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. This feeling was not without due cause, for 14 months earlier I had arrived in the very same spot when I first came to Tajikistan to participate in the U.S. State Department’s Critical … Continue reading Déjà Vu in Dushanbe

Appreciating Your Time Abroad

Unfortunately, my time abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia is coming to an end. It is crazy to think that I have less than three weeks left with a city I’ve fallen in love with. Though I am excited to return home and share my experience with friends and family, I will surely miss St. Petersburg, … Continue reading Appreciating Your Time Abroad

When East Meets West: Culinary Style

Sambusa, or whatever variation of the name a particular country has, is a national dish found in most places throughout South and Central Asia. Americans are probably most familiar with the Indian version, called samosa, which usually consists of peas and other vegetables stuffed into a shell, which is then deep fried and served with … Continue reading When East Meets West: Culinary Style

Salo and Grechka and Borsch, Oh My!

Exploring Kyiv and taking in the culture has been as much a linguistic adventure as a gastronomic one. One of the cornerstones of cultural immersion is to fully experience the local cuisine, and through my homestay family, I believe I have become acquainted with the classics of Ukrainian cooking. Every day at the kitchen table, … Continue reading Salo and Grechka and Borsch, Oh My!

I Get By With A Little Help From My Host Mom

I have been blessed over these past few months with a wonderful host family experience. My host mom, Natasha, is not only great at keeping me fed and safe, but she has shown me kindness and friendship in ways that I would have never expected from her. Before I left for Russia, my professor in … Continue reading I Get By With A Little Help From My Host Mom