2018 FIFA World Cup Russia: Be There with American Councils

Eight years ago, Russia was selected to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. I was a junior in high school, I did not know what the Cyrillic alphabet was, and I had zero interest in soccer. I’m now in Saint Petersburg at this historical moment for modern Russia, occupying my days with its language and … Continue reading 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia: Be There with American Councils


Further Abroad

Since the last blog post, I’ve since been even farther away from home in Russia, with my group from St. Petersburg, along with students from other cities in ACTR’s Russian program, taking a long train ride to Volgograd, in the south, formerly Stalingrad. While there are certainly similarities between Americans and Russians in terms of … Continue reading Further Abroad

Summing up the year in Vladimir

After spending 8 months in Vladimir Russia I can easily answer the questions that are asked to me every day. "Why study Russian?" Other than having the ability to travel to the largest country in the world and probably one of the most important ones at this moment in politics and history, the language just … Continue reading Summing up the year in Vladimir

Hola, Россия!

Immersing myself completely into Russian culture was one of my goals for my semester abroad, and for me, this meant drinking tea with my host family at any time of the day to understanding cultural nuances and (occasionally) learning some slang words once in a while. I knew that every day I would be doing … Continue reading Hola, Россия!

Finding a New Hobby

It has been approximately 8 weeks since I’ve arrived to Vladimir and it has been an extremely interesting experience.  I have learned in these two short months: what it means to actually have free time, how to listen to people, and the many similarities between Russians and Americans.  Although these examples may seem basic, I … Continue reading Finding a New Hobby

Texas in Kazakhstan

I’m very clearly not a Kazakh. Whenever I meet new people, one of the first questions is almost always “otkuda,” or “where from?” I’ve found that the easiest way to make new friends is to respond with some variation of “Shymkent… I mean, Texas.” Although I no longer find it amusing, but the locals very … Continue reading Texas in Kazakhstan

A Different Kind Of Cold

"Its winter, of course it will be cold", this is what I told myself before returning for the spring semester in Vladimir, Russia. I've been many places at various times of year from the northern United States and Canada, throughout the valleys in the Midwest and the mountain regions. I've been through the highlands of … Continue reading A Different Kind Of Cold

8 Russian Dairy Products You’re Going to Want to Make Friends With

Come to land where milk products are more plentiful than the snow and just as beautiful! Ryazkenka, or fermented baked milk, is not only very good for you but is also the cheapest thing on the McDonald's menu here. It is made by baking a jug of milk for 8 hours until it becomes thick, … Continue reading 8 Russian Dairy Products You’re Going to Want to Make Friends With

The Russian Classroom

The following blog post is from Abigail Greene, a Fulbright-Hays fellow from the Fall 2017 Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies cohort. For more information about the Fulbright-Hays fellowship, please visit our website. In my Russian classes we often talked about the differences between American and Russian classrooms and views on education. Adjusting to the … Continue reading The Russian Classroom

Taraz and Turkestan – Windows to Kazakhstan’s Past

From a Western perspective, Kazakhstan may come across as the “middle of nowhere”. The country is not very populous or receive much limelight in western-centric media. However, given the history of Central Asia, Kazakhstan turns out to be the middle of everything - Central Asia has long been a crossroads of civilization, a melting pot … Continue reading Taraz and Turkestan – Windows to Kazakhstan’s Past