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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When East Meets West: Culinary Style

Sambusa, or whatever variation of the name a particular country has, is a national dish found in most places throughout South and Central Asia. Americans are probably most familiar with the Indian version, called samosa, which usually consists of peas and other vegetables stuffed into a shell, which is then deep fried and served with … Continue reading When East Meets West: Culinary Style

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

Salo and Grechka and Borsch, Oh My!

Exploring Kyiv and taking in the culture has been as much a linguistic adventure as a gastronomic one. One of the cornerstones of cultural immersion is to fully experience the local cuisine, and through my homestay family, I believe I have become acquainted with the classics of Ukrainian cooking. Every day at the kitchen table, … Continue reading Salo and Grechka and Borsch, Oh My!

Seeing the Warmer Side of Russia

Like many students who decide to study Russian, I fell in love with the country’s literature before I began studying the language. The prospect of developing the skills to read that literature in its original format can be a great motivator. However, the pantheon of great Russian writers can also have a chilling effect for … Continue reading Seeing the Warmer Side of Russia

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

On my love for the Moscow Metro

It probably sounds silly, how much I love the metro. Maybe it's due to the small town girl effect- I come from a town of 10,000 that used to have a taxi, but other than that, has no public transport whatsoever. I think it's more than that, though. I remember clearly sitting at orientation, being … Continue reading On my love for the Moscow Metro

The Monuments of Russia

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in Moscow this summer (and there certainly is, given the truly insane amount of incredible experiences I’ve already had in only a few short weeks), it’s that Russians love their monuments. Monuments to Pushkin and Bulgakov, Zhukov and Alexander Nevskii litter the streets of every Russian city – along … Continue reading The Monuments of Russia

The New Moscow

When I decided to come to Moscow, I was most of all excited to see old stuff—Soviet relics, dead writers’ apartments, art from bygone dissident movements. I listened to music from the 1930s to prepare myself and made lists of museums to visit. I wanted to live in a Moscow that had stopped existing sometime … Continue reading The New Moscow

On Birthdays and Celebrations in Kazakhstan

I must admit that I was a little bit apprehensive about living with a Kazakh host family for the summer as a 30-year-old PhD candidate. It is difficult enough to play the appropriate roles when I visit my own parents! But so far, I have had nothing short of an amazing experience. A week into … Continue reading On Birthdays and Celebrations in Kazakhstan