My Host Family in Tbilisi

One of my biggest fears when thinking about studying abroad was living with a host family. What if I don’t get along with them? What if there is too big of a language barrier? What if they have an incompatible lifestyle from me? But after spending a little over a month with my host family …

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First Impressions of Azerbaijan

For the past four days, my program (Peace and Security in the South Caucasus) has been privileged to tour Baku and a few other places in Azerbaijan—one of Georgia’s neighboring countries. Prior to this brief trip, I had never been to Azerbaijan and it was interesting to finally see the country we had discussed this …

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Excursion to Kazbegi, Georgia

One of the best experiences I’ve had during my time in Georgia was a trip to the northern city of Kazbegi. Kazbegi has the famous Gergeti Trinity Church which is situated on a mountain top with another range of mountains in the background. When I Googled Georgia before coming, the iconic photo of the church …

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Walking in Urban and Rural Georgia

In my first study abroad experience — 3 months in Barcelona — I found that some of my most redeeming experiences and memories came from simply exploring the city. Granted, there hasn’t been much time to do so in Tbilisi with busy weekdays of classes and frequent weekend excursions. However, I have managed to carve …

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Where Are You From?

This question is ubiquitous when you meet new people – whether in the United States or traveling overseas. Granted, it is easy to answer abroad: я из Америки, из США. Most people can guess I am American anyway, especially when surrounded by other Americans, by volume, laughter, and most likely, dress. Still, some may wish …

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First Impressions and Sights In and Around Tbilisi

Sunday, July 1st All 7 of our study abroad group in Georgia describes a similar arrival experience: being driven from the airport, surrounded by a seemingly alien language, in the middle of the night. Then, some hasty greetings (and perhaps food after 24+ hours of being in planes or airports), and finding some brief comfort …

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Language Matters for Development Work

Last week my internship with the National Democratic Institute in Georgia took me to the beautiful resort town of Borjomi, where I had the unique opportunity to observe trainings for local government officials.  The topic of the training was election campaign management, and NDI flew in an American expert for the occasion – a distinguished …

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Women’s Political Participation in Georgia

In my orientations preparing for Georgia, gender was a major topic of discussion. I learned that while society is progressing, there are still traditional biases about women and women’s' roles in Georgia. I prepared to be treated differently as a woman in the country. Some of my expectations were met consistently: men, for example, do …

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