In Conclusion

Studying while abroad is, obviously, an educational experience.  That said, there are always some hang ups that hinder learning, and there are some things to be aware of that improve learning. During orientation they gave us a list of things to bear in mind when learning a language abroad.  The list is quite comprehensive, covering … Continue reading In Conclusion


A New Perspective

When I first arrived in Tajikistan I was so excited about every part of the program: the classes, the people, the culture, the physical landscape itself. You name it, I couldn’t wait to do it here. However, I admit that when it was announced we’d be making our trip to the famous Pamirs after the … Continue reading A New Perspective

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 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