Study Abroad Program Review: Cuba-Russia Connection

I embarked on the Cuba-Russia Connection program offered by SRAS in May of 2018. However, this incredible program really began months before me landing in Cuba. SRAS’s communications with me and the resources they offered before the study abroad trip helped set me up for the great experience that was the Cuba-Russia Connection. SRAS emailed […]

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Home and Abroad + RSL – One Year with SRAS

I’ve recently completed my year-long term as a Home and Abroad scholar with SRAS. The Home and Abroad program is an intensive intern-scholarship program that helps fund an SRAS study abroad program. Home and abroad enriched my study abroad experience by encouraging me to do extensive research before heading abroad, and requiring me to get out […]

SRAS Program Review: A Full Year in Irkutsk

My first semester in Irkutsk, I did the Russian and the Environment program, which is Russian language classes paired with environmental studies. I arrived in Irkutsk the very end of August and began classes at the start of September. My Russian classes were 3 hours per day starting at 8:30 or 10:10 depending on the day. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Monastery of Saint Nino at Bodbe in Georgia

The Monastery of Saint Nino at Bodbe: The Beauty of Sighnaghi Sighnaghi, Kakheti, Georgia (Excursion included in the Policy and Conflict Program, Fall 2017) Price of visit and lunch: 25 Lari   During my first week in Georgia, my classmates and I took a trip out to Sighnaghi, which is roughly a two-hour drive from […]

The Streets of Tbilisi: Travel for PCON

Tbilisi, Georgia Included within Travel Program for Policy and Conflict in the Post-Soviet Space for Spring, 2017 Photojournalism by Rebekah Welch Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia is known for its unique (and un-regulated) architecture and cheap cost of living. In a few short days I discovered both are true, but also that there is […]

Russian as a Second Language in Bishkek and Irkutsk

Program Evaluation Russian as a Second Language in Bishkek and Irkutsk (plus Home and Abroad Scholarship)   Academic Program in Bishkek and Irkutsk Bishkek First, the basics. I was in the Russian as a Second Language program. I had class four days a week, 8:30 to 2:30, all Russian-language. My day off, Wednesday, was devoted to grammar […]

Bolshoe Goloustnoe, near Irkutsk

Bolshoe Goloustnoe Weekend Trip from Irkutsk Part of the SRAS cultural package for spring, 2017 Bolshoe Goloustnoe (Большое Голоустное) is a very small town approximately two hours outside Irkutsk by car. It’s right on Lake Baikal—as in, you can wake up, leave your hotel, and walk directly onto the lake. (Or into the lake, if […]

Listvyanka, outside Irkutsk

Listvyanka Day Trip from Irkutsk Part of the SRAS cultural package for spring, 2017 Listvyanka (Листвянка) is a small town approximately 50 miles from Irkutsk. It is the closest point to Irkutsk that’s directly on Lake Baikal. It’s a perfect day trip from Irkutsk. In the middle of winter, Listvyanka is an absolutely astounding site. […]

The Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow

The Bolshoi Theater A Night Out with SRAS Tickets typically run $50 and more Included with SRAS summer 2016 program Are you interested in theater? I wasn’t. I went with SRAS to the ballet anyway though, thinking I’d at least get my money’s worth out of the study abroad package. Knowing what I know now, […]

Studying Russian in Moscow with SRAS

SRAS Program Review Russian as a Second Language – Moscow I decided to study abroad in Russia due to a long-held fascination of mine with the language, culture, and politics of the country, a fascination that was honed and augmented by my first three years of study at university in the departments of international relations […]

Taganskaya Bunker and American Breakfast in Moscow

4th of July Cold War Fest Taganskaya Bunker, American Breakfast, and Politics Seminar SRAS Event held summer, 2016 As part of my Russian as a Second Language program at Moscow State University, I attended a special SRAS cultural activity to mark the celebration of July 4th as well as learn about Russian politics, from the […]

A Tour of the Kremlin in Moscow

A Tour of the Kremlin in Moscow with a stop at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior Free tour offered summer of 2016 with SRAS’s regular Moscow programs As part of SRAS’s Russian as a Second Language (RSL) program at Moscow State University, I had the opportunity to attend a guided walking tour of the […]

Horse Trekking in Kyrgyzstan

Horse Trekking in Kyrgyzstan Glaciers and Vodka Baths A Review of Kyrgyz Summer Adventure, an SRAS educational program One of my absolute favorite things about travelling is the sensations one experiences when waking up and falling asleep in a foreign country. While not thoroughly confusing, it is disorienting enough to give one a pleasant reminder […]

University Life at VSUES, Vladivostok

At VSUES, my classes and coursework differ from my experience at my American university. Classes The first major difference is the length of a class sessions. Every class in Russia lasts 1:30. In the US, my classes were either 50 minutes or 1:15. It takes a little more focus to get through the longer classes, […]

The Art of Daily Practice and Conversations

It’s a little bit surprising to look at the calendar and think that half of my first semester in Vladivostok is already gone. Seven weeks seem to have effortlessly drifted by in strict contention with my own efforts at learning the Russian language. I can say that my knowledge of Russian when I arrived in […]

“Crossroads of Empires” Program Evaluation

Note: this is an open and honest evaluation from a participant on the inaugural run of SRAS’ new Crossroads of Empires program. SRAS actively seeks out feedback from students on all programs so that we can continually improve our offerings. While we plan to retain the rigorous nature of this program, we are working with […]

Bishkek Walking Tour

New SRAS students at the London School in Bishkek are introduced to the city and some of its major landmarks on a walking tour shortly after arrival. I took this tour on the afternoon of my first day here at the end of August. It was hot, the streets were busy, and little stands along […]

Meros Silk Paper Factory in Samarkand

Meros Silk Paper Factory/Бумажная Фабрика «Мерос» Koni Ghil/Кони Гил Tour cost: 3000 sum/$1.25 The Meros Silk Paper Factory was one of the last stops on this November’s trip from Bishkek to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, organized by SRAS and The London School of Bishkek as part of the Central Asian Studies study abroad program. Just outside Samarkand, […]

Central Asian Plov Center in Tashkent

Central Asian Plov Center/Среднеазиатский Центр Плова 1 Iftihor St./ул. Ифтихор, д. 1 Hours: 10:00-14:00 Entrées from 5000 sum ($2) Though I have tried плов (plov, or pilaf) in only one restaurant in Uzbekistan’s capital, I feel confident recommending Central Asian Plov Center as a worthwhile destination in Tashkent for both the food quality and the […]

House on the Embankment Museum in Moscow

House on the Embankment Museum / Mузей дом на набережной ул. Серафимовича д.2 Hours of Operation: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 10:00-18:30, Thursday from 11:00-21:00, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00-18:00; closed every last Friday of the month for cleaning As part of my Russian language course at Moscow State University, my professor took us to the […]

International Relations Internship in Moscow: PIR Center, Part II: The Youth of PIR Center

As told in Part I of this entry, I intern at the PIR Center for International Studies Autonomous Non-for-Profit Organization (Автономная некоммерческая организации «Научный центр международных исследований «ПИР»). One very interesting portion of the organization’s staff is its interns. PIR Center typically houses interns for a few months at a time. Most of the interns […]

International Relations Internship in Moscow: PIR Center, Part I

I am currently serving an internship in Moscow at the PIR Center for International Studies Autonomous Non-for-Profit Organization (Автономная некоммерческая организации «Научный центр международных исследований «ПИР»). This independent non-governmental organization was founded in 1994 and serves as a major research engine and source of publications on nuclear nonproliferation, conventional arms control, foreign policy and international […]

Arrival at the Moscow State University Dorm

The Moscow State University dorm system has many buildings, but SRAS students usually live in the ones attached to the MSU main building, located between the University (Университет) metro station and the picturesque and historic Vorobyovy Gory (Воробьёвы горы), or Sparrow Hills.  The main building and connected dorms were constructed after World War II under […]

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 […]

16 Ways Studying Abroad is Just Like Harry Potter

Did you ever stop to think about the fact that, technically, Harry Potter was also studying abroad? Here are 16 ways that Harry’s adventures are likely to be just like yours.   1. When you first decide you’re going abroad, you’re in a state of shock- you can hardly believe it’s real! 2. Getting on […]

15 Signs You Studied Abroad in Russia

Everyone knows the signs of a post-study abroad collegiate: constantly comparing everything to your study abroad city, using every conversation as an excuse to talk about your lifechanging experience, compulsively scanning the web for cheap plane tickets hoping that someday you’ll have enough money to relive the glory days that were study abroad. If you […]

7 Ways Study Abroad is a Second Childhood

After settling in with a host family in Ukraine, I’ve looked back on my notes from my first couple of weeks abroad and come to a realization – in a lot of ways, Abroad-Olivia is a child, just a little bit bigger. I’ve compiled these notes to make a list of seven reasons why living […]

My Own Silk Road

Well, my time has expired in this part of the world, and with a bittersweet goodbye I part ways with Kyrgyzstan, her land and her people. Such things have happened in the time that I have been here since January with the Central Asian Studies program, and I can’t in good conscience say that I […]

10 Differences Between Moscow and Saint Petersburg

“Moscow is the heart, and Saint Petersburg is the head” -This Russian saying was popularized in the time of Peter the Great and references Moscow’s place as the central upholder of Russian traditions while Saint Petersburg looks west into the social and scientific developments of the future. Is it still applicable today? – You decide. […]

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