The Teacher Becomes the Student

One of the best opportunities afforded me by the Balkan Language Initiative, aside from studying Bulgarian language in-country, has been the chance to return to a place that is very near and dear to my heart. A few years back, I lived in Bulgaria and taught high school English language classes in the south-central region … Continue reading The Teacher Becomes the Student

Finding Heritage in Tajikistan

A few summers ago, my sisters and I were in San Diego with my parents visiting a park. On the way, we saw a shop selling kites. My parents wanted to buy one to fly together but my sisters and I were apprehensive – we had never flown a kite. What if we spent a … Continue reading Finding Heritage in Tajikistan

The Living Tajiki Language (Tajiki vs. Farsi)

As one of the few ERLP students in Tajikistan studying Tajiki, I consider myself fortunate to be able to live life through my target language every day.  Like most other participants on the program, I came to Tajikistan with a background in Farsi, the Iranian dialect of the Persian language, but not in Tajiki.  While … Continue reading The Living Tajiki Language (Tajiki vs. Farsi)

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

Falling for a city

A post from RLASP Spring 2017 participant, Nadezhda Braun.

ND to St. Petersburg

A few days ago I tried to purchase a painting at an outdoor art market across the street from my apartment. Despite the variety beautiful pieces of the city, I found myself at a loss. None of them seemed to capture the light in this city that is so infatuating. How even on the cold, gray, and icy days there is still an inherent beauty in how the street lamps illuminate the snow falling. Or how the light from the sunset hits the multicolor buildings and makes them glow. The light of St. Petersburg seems to create a sense of magic and mystery.

IMG_1974 I started a habit of taking sunset pictures after this day.

It is this sense of magic that makes St. Petersburg, and in turn, the Russian language and culture, so fascinating for me to learn about. It is a language, contrary to popular belief, of love, life…

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Embracing Winter

Originally posted on https://zoeelizabethz.blogspot.ru Lasting Impressions: In Which Zoe Goes to Russia I am from Kentucky, where one inch of snow is kind of a lot. I've always loved snow, but I absolutely hate being cold, and I tend to get cold easily. So when friends asked me, "You do know that Russia is cold, … Continue reading Embracing Winter

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