Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Recipient Profile: Kate Crnkovich

Kate Crnkovich talks about accessing Russian culture through music while living abroad on the Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program in Moscow as a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad scholarship recipient.   All my life I have loved accordion music, though I never thought I would finally be able to explore that during my summer …

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Sights and Sounds of Sarajevo: A Portrait of New Beginnings

It’s hard to believe that three weeks have already passed by seemingly without me even realizing. It’s strange how time passes unceremoniously when you are faced with a change in nearly all your circumstances. A new country, new living arrangements, new teachers, new classes, new friends, new sights, new sounds—new language…it’s hardly a shock the …

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Language and Music in Sarajevo

Heading into my final week of language classes in Sarajevo, I must admit I’m finding it difficult to home in on a focus for this blog post. I have experienced so many wonderful events, met so many inspiring people, listened to and watched so many invigorating musical performances, and traveled to so many new places. …

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Excursions and Karaoke in Taiwan

Greetings from Tainan, Taiwan! We are starting our seventh week in TISLP, marking the last two weeks of the program. Our time in Taiwan certainly has flown by! These past few weeks have been very busy with studying and exploring Taiwan. Last week we went on our cultural trip to Taipei. We visited the National …

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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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The Living Tradition of Music in Georgia

One thing that has always struck me about Georgian culture is that it is a culture of song.  It is often said that one out of every two Georgians are musical, either singing or playing an instrument (such as the traditional banjo-esque “panduri”).  Musical talent is highly respected, as it is integral for unlocking a …

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Language Learning Through Music

My trip to St. Petersburg has always been about music. I’ve played the violin for almost 30 years, and the most formative musical moments of my life were in some way or another connected to the Russian musical tradition. I vividly remember cowering under the covers as a kid watching the Night on Bald Mountain …

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Metal in Russia

On my first night with my host, Igor, he took me to a Russian heavy metal concert in a repurposed warehouse. The first song: “My Homeland—USSR”  («Моя Родина-СССР»). As soon as the band—«Иргия Праведников»--punched the first note, their fans went wild. They formed a mosh pit in the middle of the dance floor--a whirlwind of …

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A Few (Lesser-Known) Petersburg Sights

It’s hard to believe that I will be on a plane back to the US in less than two weeks. Since September, Saint Petersburg has become my home. During the winter months my commute became so second nature that I often arrived at Gertzen without remembering my commute. And in a way, that makes me …

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