Appreciating Your Time Abroad

Unfortunately, my time abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia is coming to an end. It is crazy to think that I have less than three weeks left with a city I’ve fallen in love with. Though I am excited to return home and share my experience with friends and family, I will surely miss St. Petersburg, … Continue reading Appreciating Your Time Abroad

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Finding My Way Home

“Excuse me, would you be able to tell me where the Baikonur metro station is?” So go my usual interactions with the people of Almaty as an American who finds herself getting lost almost everyday on the way back to her host family’s apartment. The passerby in question usually gives me a strange look, most … Continue reading Finding My Way Home

Reminders of Home in Russia

When I first told my family I would be spending the summer in Russia, they were a bit confused, to say the least. “Do you really have to go that far?” was my dad’s initial response. I couldn’t be too disappointed in their reactions, because the truth was that I was feeling a bit hesitant … Continue reading Reminders of Home in Russia

Navigating the Waters of Fluid Dynamics in Kazakhstan

It was early February, one of the coldest weeks in Almaty. The wind blew past my teacher, program director, and me as we searched for the Physics building on the main campus of our university. I could feel my nerves heightening, but this day had been long awaited. We found the lecture hall, but having … Continue reading Navigating the Waters of Fluid Dynamics in Kazakhstan

Shuba Hunting

In Russian, the word “шуба” [shoo-ba], plural: шуби [shoo-bee] has two meanings. 1. A fur coat 2. A salad that consists of alternating layers of mayonnaise, beats, and salted herring fish. The full name of the salad is translated as “Herring under a fur coat.” To most Americans, both are foreign and puzzling. Here we’re … Continue reading Shuba Hunting

Language and Empathy

While studying abroad in Kazakhstan, it has been the first time in my life to live in a multilingual society. Kazakh is the native language, but Russian is widely spoken and understood, as Kazakhstan became a part of the Russian Empire in the 19th century and gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. … Continue reading Language and Empathy

How to Make the Most of your Time in St. Petersburg: 8 Recommendations

1. Explore the neighborhood you live in and don’t only stay on Nevsky Prospect. While there are many incredible things to see along Nevsky Prospect, the main drag, staying off Nevsky will allow you to see other attractions without the crowds of foreign and domestic tourists as well as helping to improve your Russian, as … Continue reading How to Make the Most of your Time in St. Petersburg: 8 Recommendations

7 Lessons in 7 Days: My First Week in Russia

DAY 1: Finally, I’m in St. Petersburg -- the moment I’ve been waiting for! After how many years, I am finally here. However, it’s hard to know what to think after being in a plane for 15 hours. It’s hard to know how to take in all the Cyrillic alphabet that surrounds me as I … Continue reading 7 Lessons in 7 Days: My First Week in Russia

No, Not the Telephone

Not every memorable moment abroad is related to an eye-opening experience or an event that changes your understanding of yourself or the world around you. Those moments happen, of course, more frequently when you’ve just arrived in a new country and more sporadically as time passes by and you become more acquainted with the new … Continue reading No, Not the Telephone

An Alternative Winter Break

During winter break I elected not to travel home, and instead spent some time in Ukraine. A couple of days after classes ended, I flew to Kiev, where I met my father. We spent a week together touring the city’s cathedrals, Great Patriotic War monuments and museums, and of course stopping by Maidan to get … Continue reading An Alternative Winter Break