“Why did you decide to come to Russia?”

“Why did you decide to come to Russia?” The immediate answer I usually give is “because I’ve always been interested.” Since I was in the fifth grade, Russia, its culture, geography, language, etc., has fascinated me. I don’t have any logical or practical reason other than I thought it was cool. While it's true, I …

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Exploring Russian and Buryat Cuisine

Food is an important part of travel for me. To be blunt, I like eating, so naturally this is an attractive way for me to learn about another culture. This summer in Russia I had the opportunity to explore the food of both Russian and Buryat culture. Last summer I lived in Georgia (the country) …

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Balancing My Life Abroad

Since the moment I arrived in Saint Petersburg, Russia, I have wanted to share so much of the culture and interesting things I learn about the country with my friends and family in the United States. Anytime something particularly remarkable, unexpected, or even just different happens, my reaction at first was to tell the people …

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Discovering the Russian Coffee Scene

Read most travel forums and information pages about Russia and you will probably be left with the impression that the country is a coffee desert. As someone who put their liberal arts degree to good use in the craft coffee industry (see barista) I appreciate a good cup of coffee and have to admit that …

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Visiting a Russian Banya

One of the most quintessential Russian experiences is the banya. The detoxifying nature of the banya relies heavily on the balancing of extreme hot and cold temperatures. This is what the Russians believe add to the health benefits of the banya  First, I sat in an extremely hot room- when they were initially heating up …

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Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Recipient Profile: Claire Kalikman

Claire Kalikman reflects on the challenges and rewards of daily life while living abroad on the Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program in Moscow as a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad scholarship recipient. Studying abroad in Russia is not always easy. Seemingly arbitrary websites and programs are blocked by Russian networks, washing machines are a …

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Playing Baseball in Russia

This is my second time in Russia. My first experience here was most focused in the classroom: my time was divided between classes and homework and the rigorous schedule and harsh winter kept me inside for most of the semester. However, I knew that this summer I wanted to experience everything that I could outside …

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Stereotypes are Meant to be Broken

When people heard that I was going to Russia, most had something to say about it. Stereotypes are thrown around like fishing nets, they trap anyone who hears them and unless you go experience it for yourself, you don’t have anything else to believe. My observations are based off my experience in Moscow, which doesn’t …

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