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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Places to Visit in St. Petersburg: Datsan Gunzechoinei and Tspkio Park

A simple Friday afternoon turned out to be one of my most favorite days when a friend and I had decided to seek out Datsan Gunzechoinei, or Russia’s most northern Buddhist temple. In 1909 a representative of the Dalai Lama was granted permission to build a Buddhist temple in Saint Petersburg and it was then …

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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 …

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