Final Thoughts

Follow all Taylor's thoughts on her semester abroad in Moscow, Russia by checking out her previous blogs: Being Black In Russia, and A Little Sun-Kissed. ... As I sit here writing this blog post, I’m thinking about the ways in which my experience abroad has drastically influenced who I am. During 2019, I spent a …

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Last Weeks in St. Petersburg

In these last weeks of the program, our Resident Director has been reminding us that now is the optimal time for language gain. This is something that we were told at orientation as well, and it’s helpful to have the reminder during these last few weeks. For me, they have been the toughest on the …

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Добро пожаловать в Казахстан

I had very few expectations in mind when my plane touched down in Almaty. I was both mentally and physically exhausted from traveling for almost 48 hours straight, and as soon as I approached customs, I knew that my language skills were lacking, to say the least. I figured that this semester would be challenging …

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There’s a Washing Machine in My Kitchen —Cultural Observations and Shocks

While walking through the streets of my new home, Almaty, Kazakhstan, I can almost hear Green Day’s “American Idiot” pulsing through my brain. “Don’t wanna’ be an American Idiot,” is the goal, but the execution sometimes falls short. Often, these apparent blunders are not informed by the Russian language, as I expected before departure; rather, …

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My First Month in Saint Petersburg

When I decided to come to Saint Petersburg to study abroad, I didn’t know what to expect. I hoped, of course, that I would have a great semester and that my language speaking abilities would improve. However, I wanted to avoid setting unrealistic expectations, and having them disappointed. I decided to make myself a few …

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First Impression in Moscow, Russia

My first impressions of Moscow during my first month here have been overwhelmingly positive. There are many aspects of this city and culture that I enjoy when comparing with the American culture that I am familiar with. I might not be able to go into depth on all of them, but I will mention a …

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Language Learning is Not a One-Man Journey

Before coming to this program, because I love to learn languages, I never thought that I would burn out from being immersed in a language. For most of the program I was so scared that if I didn’t memorize the lesson for the day, if I continuously messed up the sentences I said in class, …

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Immersion and Excursions in Taiwan

Being in the second-to-last week of the Taiwan Intensive Summer Program has been a very beneficial experience for me. For example, I was able to learn so much in a short amount of time, raise my level of Chinese proficiency, and being able to be more open towards others. I really like learning Chinese in …

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Where’s the Bathroom?: Breaking the Language Barrier

About a year before coming to Taipei for my ACIE program, I visited Beijing for a research trip. I had been learning Mandarin on my own for about a year before then, mostly through the use of language learning apps and textbooks from my school’s library. I figured that my language skills would be sufficient …

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The Added Benefit of Learning a Foreign Language

There are a lot of things you expect from studying a foreign language and going overseas to be immersed in said language, like funny stories from misunderstandings and an increase in the command over that language. Those things I expected, but there was one side effect of studying a second language I didn’t expect—an increase …

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