Language Learning Through Music

My trip to St. Petersburg has always been about music. I’ve played the violin for almost 30 years, and the most formative musical moments of my life were in some way or another connected to the Russian musical tradition. I vividly remember cowering under the covers as a kid watching the Night on Bald Mountain … Continue reading Language Learning Through Music


Let’s Talk About Fear

I remember the thrill of excitement when I found out I would be studying abroad in St. Petersburg for the summer. I remember thinking how beautiful, how unique of an experience I will have. I thought back to everything I had learned about Russian culture and wondered how I would do my best to assimilate. … Continue reading Let’s Talk About Fear

Identity in Russia

Flying to Russia to spend a summer studying abroad has been the best decision of my life. Before deciding on making my trip, I was a little worried because of the international tensions my country (USA), and Russia currently face. As a Russian Language major, I knew that I needed to take this step in … Continue reading Identity in Russia

Misadventures of the One-legged Boy

Let me begin by saying that this title is quite misleading. I in fact have both my legs. I am not an amputee. I merely hyperbolize and lament the fact that I’m experiencing this beautiful city of St. Petersburg all while clomping around with a big, ugly, black boot immobilizing my left foot. Context: I … Continue reading Misadventures of the One-legged Boy

Falling for a city

A post from RLASP Spring 2017 participant, Nadezhda Braun.

ND to St. Petersburg

A few days ago I tried to purchase a painting at an outdoor art market across the street from my apartment. Despite the variety beautiful pieces of the city, I found myself at a loss. None of them seemed to capture the light in this city that is so infatuating. How even on the cold, gray, and icy days there is still an inherent beauty in how the street lamps illuminate the snow falling. Or how the light from the sunset hits the multicolor buildings and makes them glow. The light of St. Petersburg seems to create a sense of magic and mystery.

IMG_1974 I started a habit of taking sunset pictures after this day.

It is this sense of magic that makes St. Petersburg, and in turn, the Russian language and culture, so fascinating for me to learn about. It is a language, contrary to popular belief, of love, life…

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We have reached the halfway point of my semester abroad here in St. Petersburg. Honestly, I can feel my Russian language abilities improving. I’m becoming more comfortable here, between learning the layout of the city and actually communicating with the Russians around me. I’ve had different breakthroughs with language, between getting to the point where … Continue reading Progress

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

Public Transportation in St. Petersburg

I’ve never seen anything quite as unpredictably predictable as the St. Petersburg transportation system. There’s a plethora of ways to get around in St. Petersburg: car, bus, metro, marshrutka, taxi, and by foot, of course. I have found that each system has its own set of unique unspoken rules and quirks that make adjustment a … Continue reading Public Transportation in St. Petersburg