Sunrise on the Canal

It is my last weekend in Saint Petersburg, then I do some traveling, before returning to America. Friday night, after classes, I was lucky to be invited to a Korean Barbecue event with my host family. There, I met some new Russian friends, and at the young hour of 00:06 AM we went out for …

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Gardens of Dushanbe

The closeness to nature that is experienced throughout Tajikistan is also reflected in the multitude of gardens that the capital, Dushanbe, contains. Many of them originate from the Soviet era, but the Tajik government has also clearly placed a lot of effort in constructing new ones, especially those surrounding the Nowruz Palace. Overall, the city’s …

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Piano Lessons in Azerbaijan

Every Tuesday and Thursday, I attend a one-hour piano lesson at a music school in Azerbaijan. Although some students favor picking up an entirely new activity during their time abroad, I preferred to bring with me an activity that was already quite familiar. In the midst of cultural, language, and even time differences, playing piano …

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Trying to Take It All In

My first month in Moscow has been eye-opening, fast-paced, and exciting. I have already become close with my host family - especially with Anya, a woman with whom I share many interests, ranging from music to art, from anime to theories of ‘self.’ We can spend hours talking during and after dinner, and I often …

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Walking in Urban and Rural Georgia

In my first study abroad experience — 3 months in Barcelona — I found that some of my most redeeming experiences and memories came from simply exploring the city. Granted, there hasn’t been much time to do so in Tbilisi with busy weekdays of classes and frequent weekend excursions. However, I have managed to carve …

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The Case for Exploring Alone

Since I’ve been in Russia, I’ve made many new friends in my program. I’ve also made friends with my Russian language partner. Some of my favorite moments here have been going on excursions with the other students in my program, like to a chocolate factory and to Tula. I’ve also been grateful to have a …

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Finding the “свой” in the “чужой”.

I think one thing that's important to remember (which I completely forgot about in the beginning, shame on me) is to hang out with yourself. Take some time alone away from your friends, your group, etc. and enjoy your own company. Study abroad is not only a great time to learn about a new language …

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