Dan Davidson Fellowship Essay: Samuel McKnight

“Russia and U.S.-Russia relations are what get me out of bed in the morning.” That’s what I told a political science class at Roanoke College, my home institution. The professor, after having heard about my experience and read some of my written work, had invited me to share about my thought and experience with his …

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Visiting an Aul in Western Kazakhstan

After months of living in the modern metropolis of Almaty, my fellow Americans and I decided to embark on one last adventure before the end of our semester together in Kazakhstan. Lucky enough, we had befriended a local student at our university who invited us to visit his аул (aul/the Kazakh word for village) in …

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Highlights of my Semester in Russia: A Photo Blog

This post will contain a few of the many pictures I have taken in Moscow. It was difficult to pick just a few favorites! Early on in the semester we took a trip to visit Moscow State University, one of the top universities in Russia.  The university has a large campus with many buildings, but …

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Russian Desserts

There are so many desserts at Pirogovyj Dvorik (Пироговый дворик) that ordering can become quite overwhelming. Luckily, I’ve been eating lunch there with my friends three to four times a week every week since the beginning of the semester. That means I’ve already eaten there about 40 times. And although it’s still early December, I …

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Celebrating a Birthday Abroad

While spending a birthday abroad in a foreign country without family or close friends can be difficult and lonely, it is just as easy to turn the day into a great memory for years to come by sticking to what you know. Personally, I enjoy bonding with family and friends by huddling close together over …

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Unforgettable Moments and Friends: A Photo Blog

This is me and my host sister, Aidana. We are standing in front of Кок Тебе which is an amusement park in the mountains in which you take a Gondola ride to get to the top. It is a well-known sight in Almaty, Kazakhstan. There is a car filled with apples in the picture. The …

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Exploring Lake Baikal: A Photo Blog

In late October, after years of dreaming and a few frenzied weeks of planning, my friend and I went to Irkutsk. Our primary target was Lake Baikal, the deepest and most ancient lake in the world—to better appreciate it, we took a personalized tour of the lake and Olkhon, the largest island in it. We …

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