Traveling in Russia

Russia is the largest country in the world by a fair margin. It spans two continents, eight time zones, and 194 distinct ethnic groups. There is not real way to understand the true expanse of Russia without journeying to the East. I am fortunate enough to have made the eastward trek twice, and I consider … Continue reading Traveling in Russia

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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

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

The International Disney Channel

As an international relations major, I hear a lot about globalization. But prior to my first trip out of the US to Russia, I don’t think I realized just how personal and far-reaching global culture could truly be. My first somewhat humorous encounter with globalization in Russia (other than the obvious Western brands present throughout … Continue reading The International Disney Channel

Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Recipient Profile: Reid Harrison

Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad scholarship recipient Reid Harrison discusses his experiences leading up to  and during his participation on the Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program in Moscow. When I began learning Russian during my first semester of college, I was unsure of whether I would continue learning the language or stop after the one-semester requirement … Continue reading Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Recipient Profile: Reid Harrison

Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Recipient Profile: Patrick Kennelly

Patrick Kennelly reflects on his semester on the Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program in Moscow as a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad scholarship recipient and how everyday is an adventure in Russia. It is near impossible to bring everything you are going to need when leaving for another country, and in the first few days … Continue reading Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Recipient Profile: Patrick Kennelly

Close Encounters of the Russian Kind

"People are going to stand a lot closer to you than you're used to." It's not just Russia. Most countries outside of the United States, and some cities inside of it, lack the concept of 'personal space' as formulated by most Americans—for both cultural and, as I see it, purely logistical reasons (I can't imagine … Continue reading Close Encounters of the Russian Kind

Excuse Me Please—Thank You!

We’re all acculturated with certain ideas about politeness. Early on our families, friends, teachers, and society at large all influence us and tell us very specifically how we may or may not interact with others. Before coming to Russia I hadn’t realized how often Americans excuse themselves and apologize relative to people of other nationalities. … Continue reading Excuse Me Please—Thank You!