My Favorite Language Teachers: кӯдакон

My first host family experience was back in 2014, when I worked as a fille au pair (live-in nanny) in Marseille, France. I lived with a French-Italian family, took care of Titien (three years old) and Timoté (five), and improved my French language skills whilst playing Legos or long games of cache-cache (“hide and seek”). … Continue reading My Favorite Language Teachers: кӯдакон

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Thursday in Tajikistan

The day I've chosen to share with you happens to be Thursday, also known as panjshanbeh.  Welcome to panjshanbeh. 7:00am: I wake up, mess around on my phone for a while, answering the messages that came in from the day in the US also known as my night. Sometimes I do a bit of homework. … Continue reading Thursday in Tajikistan

History Coming to Life

I make it a point to regularly sit down with my host mother and chat. Classes, for as valuable as they are, are nothing compared to spontaneous interactions and real conversations. It’s been during these conversations that I realized I was talking to a woman who witnessed and was an active participant in the history … Continue reading History Coming to Life

Alternative Spring Break: Buzkashi Edition

We spring semester language students are officially halfway through our respective Farsi, Tajik, Dari, and Uzbek language programs of study, which means – Spring Break! To kick off our week-long Spring Break/Navruz celebrations here in Dushanbe, we all celebrated by attending a good ol’ fashioned game of dead goat polo, aka, buzkashi. Buzkashi is the … Continue reading Alternative Spring Break: Buzkashi Edition

A Trip to Safed Dara and How to Decompress on Study Abroad

On December 29, 2017 Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon signed a decree declaring 2018 the Year of Tourism and Folk Crafts in Tajikistan. Although Tajikistan is an incredibly budget-friendly tourist destination, full of beautiful mountain landscapes, ancient historical cities, and a unique blend of Persian and post-Soviet cultures, it remains relatively undiscovered by American visitors. For this … Continue reading A Trip to Safed Dara and How to Decompress on Study Abroad

Persimmons and Vodka Remedies: A Taste of Tajik Home Life

Sweet Flower My host mother’s name is Gulshirin (Per: گلشیرین / Taj: гулширин), literally “flower sweet,” but since we prefer to put our adjectives before nouns in English, “sweet flower” probably sounds better to your ears. Beautifully devout, she prays daily (maybe 5 times, I’m not sure), which I usually witness around dinner time during … Continue reading Persimmons and Vodka Remedies: A Taste of Tajik Home Life

Six Months in Tajikistan

The following blog post is from Eli Pollock, a Fulbright-Hays fellow from the Fall 2017 Eurasian Regional Language Program cohort. For more information about the Fulbright-Hays fellowship, please visit our website. At my home university, I study Farsi and international security. I am required to become proficient in a foreign language to graduate and had … Continue reading Six Months in Tajikistan

February in Dushanbe

My flight into Tajikistan came into the country in the early hours of the morning.It was dark and cold and the flight over showed no glimpses of what the country would be like. The airport was a generic airport, nothing remarkable, neither good nor bad. We were dropped off at our host families’ homes. I … Continue reading February in Dushanbe

Living with a host family for the first time

There is a lot about studying abroad in a country so far away from and different than the US that could intimidate anyone. The distance from loved ones, the language barriers, the cultural differences—you name it. For it me, however, the prospect of living with a host family made me for the first time made … Continue reading Living with a host family for the first time