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

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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

Study Abroad: Prepare Yourself

Study abroad. To some, this term elicits wondrous fantasies of far away lands where all of the people welcome you with open arms and mounds of food. To some, it is a vacation; a chance to party in new places, drink new beers, and meet new people. To others, and often those about to embark … Continue reading Study Abroad: Prepare Yourself

The Curious Case of the Moscow Commuter

Coming from a small town in New Jersey and attending college at a relatively small campus, I am not a person who spends a long time getting from one place to another. On average, it takes me about ten minutes to get from my dorm room to any of my classes and the general amount … Continue reading The Curious Case of the Moscow Commuter

Places to Visit in St. Petersburg: Datsan Gunzechoinei and Tspkio Park

A simple Friday afternoon turned out to be one of my most favorite days when a friend and I had decided to seek out Datsan Gunzechoinei, or Russia’s most northern Buddhist temple. In 1909 a representative of the Dalai Lama was granted permission to build a Buddhist temple in Saint Petersburg and it was then … Continue reading Places to Visit in St. Petersburg: Datsan Gunzechoinei and Tspkio Park

Places To Visit In St. Petersburg: Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery

A typically untraditional place to visit in Saint Petersburg is the Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery (Пискарёвское мемориа́льное кла́дбище), located further away from the center of Saint Petersburg. In order to get there you will need to take both the metro and the bus. The cemetery contains almost 500,000 Russians in 186 mass graves who died during … Continue reading Places To Visit In St. Petersburg: Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery

I Get By With A Little Help From My Host Mom

I have been blessed over these past few months with a wonderful host family experience. My host mom, Natasha, is not only great at keeping me fed and safe, but she has shown me kindness and friendship in ways that I would have never expected from her. Before I left for Russia, my professor in … Continue reading I Get By With A Little Help From My Host Mom

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

Nevsky Prospect

It can be rather overwhelming at times to simply choose a sightseeing destination to visit in St. Petersburg. The city is teeming with attractions, from the palaces, cathedrals, and other historic buildings to the modern art exhibitions and pristine suburbs. It should come as no surprise that the Hermitage Museum, Kazan Cathedral, and the Peter … Continue reading Nevsky Prospect