Metro Pub in Bishkek

If you find yourself wondering what to do in Bishkek on a Friday night, then you should check out Metro Pub. It has a massive dance floor in the back that plays electronic dance music, while the front has a smaller dance floor with a live band. The dance floors are packed on the weekends, […]

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How to Cook in Bishkek: No Oven Required

When I signed up to live in the dorms, I was prepared to live on a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and eggs. I was not encouraged to stray from this plan when I saw that the kitchen boasted only a hot plate in place of a stove and had no oven for […]

How to Survive Your First Week in Bishkek

I arrived in Bishkek in a daze. I had just spent thirty hours travelling, and it hadn’t quite set in that I was actually in Kyrgyzstan. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I was really in Kyrgyzstan until I visited Issyk-Kul later that day. The excursion coordinator at the London School, Danar, picked me up from […]

Adapting to the Class Schedule in St. Petersburg

Be Sure to Bring Your Coffee! Students should abroad expecting entirely new experiences. This includes new experiences in how university-level classes are scheduled, a process that is different in both Ukraine and Russia from what most students are used to in the United States. While abroad in Kyiv, Ukraine (PCON Program) and St. Petersburg, Russia […]

Dorm Sports in Irkutsk as an Immersion Experience

As spring arrives and the weather is getting better the urge to get out and active is getting stronger and stronger. While gyms can be found around the city they can be expensive unless you do some shopping around for a good deal. Luckily there is another way to stay fit and active for free. […]

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 […]

Learning Through a Passport: The Undeniable Importance of Travel

“Travel is the most intense mode of learning”- Kevin Kelly, executive editor of Wired magazine   Eight months ago, my year of studying abroad began. I arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia as part of the Policy and Conflict in the Post-Soviet Space (PCON) program. Over the course of the following fall semester, I travelled all across […]

Day Trip to a Russian Dacha from St. Petersburg

For my spring semester abroad, I’m studying right in the heart of St. Petersburg, Russia. I’m surrounded by a ton of cute cafes and diverse restaurants, and I’m within walking distance of several popular attractions in the city, such as the Hermitage and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. However, being in the […]

Chaikhana Ok Saroy Uzbek Restaurant in Irkutsk

Chaikhana Ok Saroy (Чайхaна Ок-Сарой) café is a small restaurant located near the university in the area of the central market. It is about one block away from Shanghi City making it a great lunch option after wandering around the bazaar. The entrance is clearly marked and once inside the restaurant is on the second […]

7 Things I’ve Learned From Living in Kyiv, Ukraine

The past semester with SRAS’ Policy and Conflict program has been full of amazing adventures, a lot of Russian practice, travel throughout four countries (Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, and Ukraine), delicious food, and certainly several moments of pure culture shock. There were a few times I learned some lessons the hard way, but I ultimately survived […]

My Home Stay Family Experience in Kyiv, Ukraine

When I was preparing to study abroad, one of the hardest decisions I had to make was where I was going to live: with a host family or in the dorms. This was a topic that I pondered over for weeks, trying to weigh the pros and cons of both options. Several of my friends […]

Sick in a Foreign Country? Here’s what to do!

Sick in a Foreign Country? Here’s what to do! Fall 2017- Kiev, Ukraine   When preparing to study/move abroad, the excitement is overwhelming. You’re preparing to enter a new culture and you’re prepping yourself for the many changes that are to come. There’s a million things circling around in your head, such as housing, flights, […]

Meeting Locals in Irkutsk

Getting Involved and Meeting Locals In Irkutsk A few suggestions Meeting local friends is one of the best ways to not only learn Russian, but also to feel at home in one’s host environment. The first few weeks in Irkutsk can be hard if you don’t know what to do or where to go, that’s […]

Going to Catholic Mass in Warsaw, Poland

Catholic Mass in Warsaw, Poland at Holy Cross Church Krakowskie Przedmieście 3 Sunday Mass Times: 6:00, 7:00, 10:30, 11:45, 13:00, 16:00, 19:00 Before I ventured over “The Pond” to Europe, I made a promise to my mom that I would go to at least one service in a Catholic Church while I was there. Keeping […]

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 […]

The Importance of Living Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Studying by itself can be challenging, which puts studying in a foreign country in a whole different level of difficulty. This past summer has been one of the most formative and informational experiences that I have ever had; but it may not have ended that way unless I took the advice from my professor before […]

Masha’s Dacha – Featured SRAS Excursion out of Moscow

Masha’s Dacha Included as part of SRAS’ Cultural Program Summer, 2017 This summer, the students enrolled with SRAS Moscow had the opportunity to visit the outskirts of the city and spend the day at a very generous Russian family’s dacha. A dacha is similar to a country house, and they are a hugely important part […]

History and Art Off the Beaten Path in Warsaw

Most foreigners in Warsaw tend to the stick to the center of the city and Old Town, with some maybe venturing as far as the Praga district. Being that these areas are mostly discovered and easy to tour — along with being packed with tourists and locals — I decided to start taking trams to […]

Izmailovin’ – A Beginner’s Guide to Enjoying the Vernisazh in Izmailovo in Moscow

Vernisazh Souvenir Market at Izmailovo Izmailovo Park (Metro Partizanskaya) Wednesday-Sunday from 10am to 8pm Closed Monday and Tuesday Budget: 40 rubles – infinity   Calling all tourist trap victims who are simultaneously balling on a budget: Put down that overpriced Matryoshka doll that you found in Red Square and back away slowly. If you’re as […]

A Guide to Warsaw Groceries

While Warsaw offers many good and affordable restaurants, I prefer to cook for two reasons. The first is to save money, which I prefer to spend on trips around Poland. The second reason is that most of my Polish friends cannot afford to go out to eat often. We usually meet up, buy groceries together, […]

Ulan-Ude, Weekend Trip from Irkutsk

Ulan-Ude Weekend Trip from Irkutsk Cost estimate: $125 for 2.5 days Halfway into our program in Irkutsk, both I and a friend were feeling the travel bug again and were ready for a change of scene. Ulan-Ude, the closest major city from Irkutsk, was definitely that. A few hours after my friend and I stepped out […]

Earning a Living on the Streets of Ukraine

From Busking to Animal Suits: the Shady and Skilled of Ukraine’s Streets  Month of March, 2017 Photojournalism by Rebekah Welch Ukraine is a beautiful country with a fascinating history. It also has an impossibly cheap cost of living. Between those two facts, it is a rapidly growing tourism center for Europe. In fact, it ranks […]

Travel to Odessa from Kyiv

 Beaches, Wine, Ancient Fortresses, and Small Town Charm A Trip to Odessa from Kyiv Weekend or Longer Trip Budget: ~$150 total for 3 days Best way to get there: Minibus Worth it: Absolutely Since the time I first watched Everything is Illuminated and fell in love with Eugene Hutz’s character Alex, a Ukrainian wannabe gangster […]

Controversial Theater in Warsaw: Curse

Curse Teatr Powszechny Powszechny.com Throughout my stay in Poland, I have found that one of the most pressing concerns in society is the role the Catholic Church plays in state and public affairs. A Croatian theater director, Oliver Frljić, known for creating theatrical productions that focus on pressing contemporary problems in specific countries, has now […]

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 […]

Three Ways to Keep Fit in Warsaw

Perhaps the greatest anxiety I have whenever I go abroad centers on maintaining my workout routine. Back in the U.S., my university has an amazing gym, which offers yoga and pilates classes, aerobics classes, free weights, workout machines, and an indoor and outdoor swimming pool. In Warsaw, however, my university (Collegium Civitas) does not have […]

Two Cafes in Warsaw: Sipping Coffee, Studying, and Socialising (Paradox and Wrzenie Świata)

Paradox Café 2 Anielewicza Street 10am-12pm Drinks for about $2-3 Wrzenie Świata 7 Gałczyńskiego Street 9am (10am on weekends) – 10pm Drinks for about $2-3 One thing that I love the most about Warsaw is that there is always a cafe or coffeehouse nearby, no matter where you are located. As I am not much […]

City Dump Museum in Irkutsk

Irkutsk City Dump Museum Fifth kilometer of Aleksandrovskiy Highway Free The Irkutsk city dump museum is one of the strangest places I have ever been in my life—not just for the fact that it exists, which is weird enough in and of itself, but for what’s in it. The dump/museum is probably about a 20-minute […]

Teaching English in Russia: The Complete Guide

Note that The School of Russian and Asian Studies does not hire English teachers. However, many of our students, past and present, have inquired into the logistics of teaching while abroad, while as students or otherwise. We have therefore provided this resource. Demand for English teachers remains very strong in Russia. Ambitious students who are […]

Jiu-Jitsu Training in Bishkek

Top Team Jiu-Jitsu Training Sessions are at different times I trained M/W/F 7:00-9:00 P.M. Located on Geological Street (It’s the first alley on Baatik Baatura after you pass Vefa walking from the School) When I first arrived in Bishkek I decided that I’d like to continue my martial arts training. I had done a few […]

Travel to Georgia from Bishkek

Travel to Georgia from Bishkek ~$400 for a 6-day trip I am currently a student in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan but I love traveling in general. Therefore, when my friend studying in Moscow asked me if I’d be interested in taking a trip to Georgia to meet up, I obviously said “Yes.” I planned out a six-day […]

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 […]

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