Sand Sculptures at Peter Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia

Just outside the walls of the mighty Peter Paul Fortress, on a Neva River beach, is a different kind of architectural grandeur. The Sand Sculpture Festival (Фестиваль песчаных скульптур) takes places every summer here in central St. Petersburg.   Each year has a theme; this year (2018) the theme was “World Masterpieces,” and the festival […]

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Boat Tour Around St. Petersburg – My Farewell to the City

As the spring semester was winding down in St. Petersburg, my fellow classmates and I all wanted to have one last stroll around the city. Luckily for us, SRAS had another idea in mind: a boat tour! Our local coordinator informed us that we’d have an hour tour that would take us around the canals […]

Russian Learners and Speakers Club in St. Petersburg

One of the most intimidating and difficult parts of learning a language is speaking. I only really found this out after coming abroad. Most foreign language courses will start with the alphabet, grammar structure, and basic phrases needed to navigate a foreign city. This was the level of Russian I had when I first arrived […]

Intelligent Flea Market in St. Petersburg, Russia

Where the Affordable Meets the Trendy As an avid window-shopper and a habitual bargainer, it’s understandable why flea markets hold a special place in my heart. I can confidently say that I have never turned down going to any kind of flea market, even if it has landed me in some unimpressive places. For the […]

Maslenitsa Through the Eyes of American Students, 2018

On February 17, squares, avenues and parks in every corner of Russia celebrated Maslenitsa, a traditional Russian holiday that marks the imminent end of winter with mountains of hot, delicious blini and revelry. Originally a pagan holiday celebrated as early as the 2nd century A.D., Maslenitsa has been somewhat folded into Orthodox Christian traditions and […]

25th Annual Charity Bazaar- Kyiv, Ukraine

During my fall semester in Kyiv, I have gone to numerous museums, concerts, art exhibits, and lively gatherings around the city. I’ve had the time of my life exploring different festivals and cultural excursions, but I can confidently say that my favorite event was the 25th Annual IWCK Charity Bazaar! Every year, the International Women’s […]

Unity Day in Irkutsk

Unity Day (День народного единства) is held on November 4 every year across Russia. It commemorates the uprising which kicked out the Polish occupying forces from the Kremlin in November of 1612 at the end of the Polish-Muscovite War. The holiday was recognized during Imperial times, but after the 1917 Revolution, the Soviets replaced the holiday with […]

In Memory of the Warsaw Uprising

The Minute Warsaw Stood Still Marking the Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising Every August 1st at 5:00 PM Place: Any Busy Street in Warsaw Walking around Warsaw on a daily basis, I have not become a stranger to witnessing memorials or places where something important in history has occurred. Everywhere in Warsaw it seems to […]

Corpus Christi in Lowicz – Day Trip from Warsaw

Celebrating Corpus Christi—In the town of Lowicz All day event Budget: 150zl for food and souvenirs (trip included in SRAS cultural program for Warsaw for Summer, 2017) Corpus Christi is a Catholic holiday celebrating the Blood and Body of Christ. Since Poland is majority Catholic, most stores and eateries in the country are closed for […]

Chistaya Liniya Ice Cream Factory Tour in Moscow

Чистая Линия (Chistaya Liniya) Ice Cream Factory Tour Included as part of the SRAS Cultural Program Summer, 2017 Website The SRAS group in Moscow was invited on an excursion to Чистая Линия (Chistaya Liniya), an ice cream factory known for quality ingredients and of course, delicious ice cream! We started off the tour by meeting […]

Happy Russia Day from Moscow

Moscow Day Celebrations June 12th – multiple locations throughout Moscow Guided excursion included as part of SRAS’ Summer, 2017 cultural program ~1000 rubles for food, drink, and souvenirs С Днëм России! This holiday is a very exciting time not only for native Russians, but for visitors as well! This year, celebrations were particularly extensive in […]

Victory Day in Irkutsk

Victory Day in Irkutsk Holiday Celebrated every May 9th Festivities around the city generally free Victory Day (День победы), celebrated on May 9 across Russia, is arguably the most important Russian holiday, other than New Year’s. There are massive celebrations across the country dedicated to Russia’s win in World War Two, or the Great Patriotic […]

International Women’s Day Eve in Kyiv

Pre Women’s Day Festivities in Kyiv, Ukraine Every March 8th, but really March 7th, too.  Perhaps no one in the world takes the celebration of the 8th of March, International Women’s Day, as seriously as those in Kyiv. It makes sense that the day is especially heralded in Ukraine and Russia, as it was a […]

Heavenly Hundred Mourners In Kyiv

Anniversary of the Shooting of 100 Protesters in Kyiv Remembrance Event Independence Square, Kyiv February 18, 2017 Photojournalism by Rebekah Welch Hundreds of people came to Kyiv’s Independence Square, or, in Ukrainian, Maidan Nazeleznosti for the third anniversary of the day snipers killed 100 protesters during the EuroMaidan Revolution, on February 18, 2017. The deceased […]

Holidays in Russia

Holidays in Russia with descriptions, histories and official days off for 2017 A list of those holidays of cultural importance in Russia. Dates, days off, and histories of the holidays are all listed. New Year / Новый Год December 31, 2016 – January 1, 2017 (days off: Jan 1, 2017 – Jan 8, 2017) Russians will have […]

The Moscow Book Festival

The Moscow Book Festival Red Square, Moscow Friday to Monday, Annually during the first weekend in June 10:00am – 11:00pm Free Entrance Budget maybe ~$5 for food and ~$5-25 for books The Moscow Book Festival (книжный фестиваль) is a new annual event that takes place in Red Square. The festival usually begins in the first […]

Remembrance of WWII in St. Petersburg

Throughout my program in Russia these past few months, the toll of the Second World War, has often been present and palpable. During World War II and the Great Fatherland War, the name Russians give the part of the war that took part on Soviet land, approximately 20-30 million Soviet men and women perished. Some […]

Victory Day in Vladivostok

Behind New Year’s, May 9th is the largest holiday in Russia. Victory Day celebrates the Soviet victory in World War II over the German Reich. This year marked 71 years since hostilities ceased in that war, but it seems that time has done little to weaken the remembrance of that great event. The main event […]

International Student Festival in Vladivostok

International Student Festival in Vladivostok On Campus at VGUES Cost: Free Last week, Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service hosted an International Student Festival to showcase the wide diversity of students who live and study in Vladivostok. The theme of the festival was “Я учусь в России,” or “I study in Russia.” The festival […]

Vladivostok Ice Run

Vladivostok Ice Run Organized by RunDNSRun Most club runs cost 0-1000 rubles to join The first annual Vladivostok Ice Run took place this weekend on February 21, 2016. A friend of mine, a volunteer organizer of the race, told me about the event two weeks ago. Although most of my exercise has been limited to […]

Icy Pastimes in Vladivostok

After a nice winter break and going home for the holidays, I have arrived back in Vladivostok. Unfortunately, I missed the big snowstorm here by a week or so, but there is still plenty of snow in heaps around the city and it is still quite cold here. Coming from a warmer climate like the American […]

XVI International Winter Festival in St. Petersburg

XVI International Winter Festival December 13-25, 2015 Arts Square Yuri Temirkanov (Artistic Director of the Festival) Philharmonia.spb.ru The International Winter Festival is an annual musical festival that takes place in December at Arts Square. This year, there were performances and exhibitions by the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, the Mikhailovsky Theater, the Theater of Musical Comedy, the […]

Travel Film Festival in Vladivostok

Travel Film Festival: Я Шагаю По Земле Shown at Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok One of my hobbies has long been spending time in the outdoors. I love almost everything involving mountains, hills, forests, or trails. One of my friends from Vladivostok who also shares these interests invited me to a film festival […]

A Frozen Thanksgiving in Vladivostok

One of my Russian friends asked me a few weeks ago what I miss about America. As I thought about it, there were the evident reasons of family and friends, but two particular foods sprang to mind as well. Peanut butter and turkey. Although the former will have to wait until my return home, I […]

Peterhof St. Petersburg: Closing of the Fountains Spectacular

Peterhof/Петергоф Closing of the Fountains Spectacular Peterhofmuseum.ru The Tsars had several summer palaces outside St Petersburg. The first summer palace that I was able to visit was Peterhof and during my visit I was able to watch an amazing Spectacular. This show was celebrating the closing of the fountains for the winter season. Peterhof (Russian: […]

Tiger Day 2015 in Vladivostok

The fourth Sunday of every September in Vladivostok is set aside for a local holiday called “День Тигра” (“Tiger Day”). The event celebrates the Amur (also called Siberian) Tigers, whose natural habitat is the Primorsky Krai Region of the Russian Far East. Vladivostok’s coat of arms prominently features the Amur Tiger, and there are quite […]

Global Village Festival in Bishkek

AIESEC “Global Village” Cultural Festival Bishkek Park Shopping Center Free Globalvillage.aiesec.kg and on Facebook The Global Village festival is put on every year by the exchange program AIESEC based at the American University of Central Asia. Local students on this program are very welcoming and interested in sharing their stories and learning from international students. […]

Summer Chopin Concerts in Łazienki Park

Summer Chopin Concerts Łazienki Park Free Lazienki-krolewskie.pl Want to soak in some classical music with that summer sun? You’re in luck! From mid-May to September, you can catch Chopin concerts every Sunday in the Royal Łazienki Park next to the Chopin Monument. And the best part?  It’s FREE.  The first showing is at noon, the […]

Eco-Cup Environmental Movie Festival

ЭкоЧашка / Eco-Cup Дом Кино, ул. Логвиненко 13 FRMI.kg and on Facebook Finding out about events in general in Bishkek has been a bit of a challenge and then finding them physically has always been the second one for me. Make sure to check out the SRAS Bishkek guide for suggestions on sources of events […]

Ruh-Ordo Complex – a Day Trip from Bishkek

Ruh-Ordo Complex/ Культурный центр Рух-Ордо Address: Чолпон-Ата, Киргизия Hours 9-5 Monday-Sunday Admission: 300 som Ruhordo.kg If you visit Lake Issyk-Kul during the summer, check out the Ruh-Ordo Complex at Cholpon-Ata. This complex is an open air museum with beaches that boats an array of sculptures and cultural pieces, along with buildings devoted to Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Catholicism, […]

Kyrgyz Horse Games – a Day Trip from Bishkek

National Kyrgyz Horse Games / Националные конно-спортивные игры Address: Ипподром near Cholpon-Ata on Issyk-Kul Free This year elections for the Issyk-Kul region were coming. This does not affect life much as a temporary student in Kyrgyzstan except that it means that the Бир Бол political party set up the Horse Games with free entrance for anyone! […]

A Night Out: Noodle Mama and the Red October Factory in Moscow

A Night Out: Noodle Mama and the Red October Factory Metro: Kropotkinskaya After a long day of studying and finishing up homework at the Higher School of Economics, I’m usually back in my dorm room before nighttime. However, one day, I managed to stay out a little later and explored the city with some of […]

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