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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

Minorities Abroad: Additional Resources

This site isn’t the only resource for minority students studying in Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern Europe! Below is a collection of interesting and useful sites from around the web, featuring videos, interviews, and much more. (Thanks to the many folks on ADSEEES and SEELANGS who have shared them!) If you’d like to suggest an additional […]

Spielberg Auschwitz Documentary Now Online

A brand new 15-minute documentary on the history of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp, produced by Steven Spielberg and narrated by Meryl Streep is now available for free, in its entirety, on YouTube. It premiered January 27th in Poland in the presence of 300 Holocaust survivors. It is part of the permanent installation at the […]

POLIN – The Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw

POLIN – The Museum of the History of Polish Jews “POLIN – Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich” 6 Mordechaja Anielewicza St. 00-157 Warsaw, Poland Polin.pl/en Opening Hours: Mon, Thurs, Fri – 10am to 6pm (last admission 4pm) Weds, Sat, Sun – 10am to 8pm (last admission 6pm) Tuesday closed Ticket price to core exhibition – 25 PLN, […]

Jewish Bishkek: A Brief History and Guide

My experience with the Jewish community in Bishkek began on a weekday evening in September. I did not really expect to find a synagogue on Suyumbayev Street. I had been following the gradually narrowing road for blocks, eventually across the wide Jibek-Jolu Avenue. On the other side of this thoroughfare, Suyumbayev was sidewalk-less, and full […]

Terrell Starr in Kyiv

…what I did enjoy about Eastern Europe, especially Ukraine, was that I was able to make many breakthroughs on race with locals that I have yet to experience in the United States. Instead of entrenching in their racial ignorance, Ukrainians were honest about their naiveté and open to learning about a different culture. In the […]

Personal Experience: NGO Internship in St. Petersburg

For the past seven months I have been living and studying in St. Petersburg, Russia through the SRAS Russian Studies Abroad program. Through the program, SRAS was able to set me up with an internship in my field and support me throughout the process from the initial meeting with the organization, and checkups along the […]

Black Bread: Professional Network of Black Russian Speakers

Black Bread is a professional network of Black Russian-speakers. Black Bread members are based primarily in New York City & Washington, DC, but many reside throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. They represent a wide range of career fields – academia, non-profit & private sectors, government, the arts, intelligence, and more – yet are […]

Adam Brunets: Heritage Speaker Keeps Boeing Globally Compliant

Adam Brunets is Global Trade Control Specialist / Lead for Russia with Boeing. Originally from Ukraine, he immigrated to the US with his parents. He studied international business with SRAS in 2005 as a visiting scholar at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) while additionally serving an SRAS-arranged business internship. SRAS: You are currently a Global Trade Control […]

Jessica in St. Petersburg

  Minorities Abroad Project Name: Jessica Destination: St. Petersburg, Russia Time abroad: Summer 2013 Ethnic Self-identification: African-American   The First Day I remember the first day very clearly when I look at the following picture: Why was the first picture I ever took in St. Petersburg, Russia a lilac bush? Because I was scared on […]

Annie in St. Petersburg

Minorities Abroad Project Name: Annie Choi Destination: St. Petersburg, Russia Time Abroad: Spring 2009 Ethnic Self-identification: Korean-American (Photo by Elise Bergerson) My ethnicity had a profound effect on my experience of Russia even before I set foot in the country.  I remember the trepidation that filled the weeks leading up to my decision to study […]

Minority Experience in Moscow

Minorities Abroad Project Destination: Moscow & St. Petersburg, Russia Time Abroad: Periodically from 2006-2010 Ethnic Self-identification: Southeast Asian-American Gender: Male (Anonymous Post) I visited Russia periodically from 2006-2010 (mostly Moscow and once St. Petersburg). Before traveling to Moscow, I had heard about the dangers of the city. Like any large city, Moscow can occasionally be […]

Morgan in St. Petersburg

Minorities Abroad Project Name: Morgan Jerkins Destination: St. Petersburg, Russia Time Abroad: Summer 2012 Ethnic Self-identification: African-American My name is Morgan Jerkins and I am a rising senior in the Comparative Literature department of Princeton University where I “specialize” in 19th century Russian Literature and 20th century Japanese Literature. I am an African-American woman who […]

Crystal in St. Petersburg

Minorities Abroad Project Name: Crystal Farmer Destination: St. Petersburg, Russia Time Abroad: Summer 2006 Ethnic Self-identification: African-American I was a self contained tourist attraction in Russia. In the midst of me worrying about how to conjugate the word stop and what to do with kopecks, I had to worry about how I represented the entire […]

Kimberly in Kiev

Minorities Abroad Project Name: Kimberly St. Julian Destination: Kiev and Odessa, Ukraine Time Abroad: Summer 2013 Ethnic Self-identification: African-American When my thesis advisor told me that I had to go to Ukraine to perform archival research for my MA thesis, I was unhappy to say the least. This was due to two reasons: a) I […]

Phillip in Baku

Minorities Abroad Project Name: Phillip Dehoux Destination: Baku, Azerbaijan Time Abroad: Summer 2011 Ethnic Self-identification: Haitian-Cuban-American Growing up in New York City I found that immersing myself in other cultures just came naturally. I have always enjoyed meeting new people, learning about different cultures, and enjoying new food. These were some of the central reasons […]

Miriam in Moscow

Minorities Abroad Project Name: Miriam Vaswani Destination: Moscow, Russia Time Abroad: 2009-2011 Ethnic Self-identification: Mixed heritage When I initially spoke on the phone with the person who would become my first employer in Moscow, he asked me if I looked distinctively Indian (I’m a first generation Canadian, with one English and one Indian parent). It […]

A Guide to Jewish Moscow

Dear reader, By merit of reading this piece, I assume that you have some interest in Jewish life in Moscow. I came to Moscow June 2012 to study with SRAS’s Russian as a Second Language Program at Moscow State (MGU) without any knowledge of the local community. This list represents the culmination of my observations […]

Keeping the Faith (Catholicism) in Kyiv

For some, traveling abroad can be as much a spiritual journey as a physical one, and tourists are often encouraged to visit religious relics and places of worship for their history, culture, and architecture. For me, a practicing Catholic who has now spent a couple of months living in Kyiv, this internship/study abroad experience has […]

The Salvation Army in St. Petersburg: A General Overview

The Salvation Army of St. Petersburg / Армия спасения в Санкт Петербурге Ул. Литейная, 44 http://pitersa.ru/ In the USA, humanitarian groups like the Salvation Army serve as highly visible, influential actors that champion for social justice. However, does the same hold true in other parts of the world, such as in Russia? As part of […]

Who are You in Kyrgyzstan

The latest online video to have gone viral is “What Kind of Asian Are You?”, a comedy sketch co-directed by David Neptune and Ken Tanaka for YouTube’s Comedy Week extravaganza, a program that features live performances and video debuts from some of the top names in comedy.  In the video, a Korean-American woman is asked […]

Chechen Journalist Calls Kyrgyzstan Her “Homeland”

Chechen Journalist Kamila Zhabrailova Talks about the Chechen-Kyrgyz Experience In Bishkek this past week, Chechen journalist Kamila Zhabrailova talked to SRAS students about the history and culture of Chechnya, the Chechen disapora in Kyrgyzstan, and her attitude towards the Boston marathon bombings. The Tsarnaev brothers are of Chechen descent and had spent some of their […]

Tengeri Shaman Center in Irkutsk

“Tengeri” Local Religious Organization of Shamans / «Тэнгэри» Местная Религиозная Организация Шаманов Ул. Седова 68 Hours by appointment Telephone: 99-81-54, 8-952-622-9185, Email: baltaev_va@mail.ru Shamanism is the common name for the traditional religions of a number of native Siberian peoples; the word describes a system of beliefs in which a large number of spirits, gods, and […]

Multi-cultural Schools in St. Petersburg

The number of children from different countries is increasing in St. Petersburg’s multi-cultural classrooms. Tensions were high at a September 29 parent-teacher meeting in a Moscow-area school. The reason:  in a sixth-grade class, children have been harassing two of their fellow classmates – an Armenian girl and an Azerbaijani  boy. They have been chasing them […]

Stephanie Briggs: To Russia with a Very Big Stick

Stephanie Briggs is a disabled student with hydrocephalus and mild cerebral palsy. These conditions reduce her mobility and are a source of chronic pain. Despite this, she has completed a BA in Russian Studies and is now perusing a MA in Translation. She also travelled to and toured Russia in 2003. SRAS: Despite your guide books […]

Max Yacoub: Racism and Work in Russia and Ukraine

Max Yacoub was born to a Russian mother and a Sudanese father but raised mostly in Sudan and England. Most of his professional life has been spent in Russia and Ukraine working with the World Bank and over the last few years in finance and investments. He is married, living in Moscow and raising a […]

Interview with Chet Bowling: Business and Racism in Russia

Chet Bowling holds an MA in Law from the Russian People’s Friendship University in Russia and an MBA from Kingston University in the United Kingdom. He co-founded Alinga Consulting Group, a business providing accounting, legal, and audit services mostly to foreign firms. He has lived in Russia for nearly nineteen years, where he is now married […]

David Diamonon: Railroads and Lacrosse in Russia

David Diamonon is Deputy General Director for Transolutions CIS, an American-owned company controlled by Amsted Rail that is focused on supplying rail equipment to the former Soviet states. Ethnically Filipino, he graduated with a degree in Russian from Middlebury College and went on to live and work in Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. Here, he discusses his experiences […]

Kyrgyzstan, A Love Story II: Immigrating to America

This is the second of a two part series. Read part one here. Living on opposite sides of the world, it would seem unlikely that I, a small-town American girl, would even meet my future husband, Rakhat, who is from a small village in Kyrgyzstan. However, as it happened, Peace Corps volunteers lived with his […]

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