When you say “hike” …what exactly do you mean?

If you are looking for a city to study Russian, but do not want frigid temperatures to trap you inside for four to nine months, Almaty is the city for you! Kazakhstan allows students to study Russian language with the great outdoors of Central Asia at their doorstep, literally. Every morning when I walk to … Continue reading When you say “hike” …what exactly do you mean?

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Getting around in Russia

One aspect of Russia that I have come to appreciate over my time here is the amount of transportation services available to the public, from day to day bus rides around the city, to high speed trains like the “Lastochka”, that can be used to travel quickly to and from different regions.  Metro trains and … Continue reading Getting around in Russia

Climbing the Language Barrier

While language learning has always been a huge passion of mine, over the last three years I have been actively learning the art of aerial dance. While this initially started out as just a hobby over the last year and a half I have been competing in aerial dance competitions and showcases in a few … Continue reading Climbing the Language Barrier

Kazakhstan’s EXPO 2017 – The Embodiment of Kazakhstan’s Ambitious Plans

Greetings from Almaty, Kazakhstan! I will be in Almaty for a semester through the American Councils’ Russian Language and Area Studies Program. Before I left, many people would ask me why I would be studying abroad in Kazakhstan. For many Americans, Kazakhstan generally perceived as a backwards country. This perception is usually fueled by Kazakhstan’s … Continue reading Kazakhstan’s EXPO 2017 – The Embodiment of Kazakhstan’s Ambitious Plans

Good Eats in Saint Petersburg

I’ve noticed a lot of American chain restaurants around Saint Petersburg, Russia, especially in the center of the city.  I haven’t stepped foot in any of them, though.  Why would I, when the traditional food here is nothing short of delicious?  Everything I’ve eaten has been so tasty that I’m not sure if my host … Continue reading Good Eats in Saint Petersburg

Arrival in Russia with Miscellaneous Thoughts on Language and Sleep Deprivation

Arriving in Moscow three weeks ago wasn’t quite what I expected.  That’s not to say that I had high expectations about what it would be like, but to come with a dazed, jet lag induced, stupor and headache was not something that I considered for any extended period.  Thus, any excitement, which I might have … Continue reading Arrival in Russia with Miscellaneous Thoughts on Language and Sleep Deprivation

First month in Kazakhstan: a Uighur Wedding Analogy

Before I left I was expecting to land in a different world. I mean: Kazakhstan! It seemed so far away, so foreign. But it seems that a recurring feeling that I have been having since I’ve been here is like a grandiose sense of expecting the unexpected but then being hit with something just weird. … Continue reading First month in Kazakhstan: a Uighur Wedding Analogy

The Stumbling Blocks of Returning to My Second Home

Oh my, oh my, I cannot even begin to express the joy I have felt being back in beautiful St. Petersburg, Russia. I am currently in my second year of graduate school and am pursuing a Master’s degree in Russian Studies and I am fortunate enough to say that this is not my first time … Continue reading The Stumbling Blocks of Returning to My Second Home