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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Lanzhou Noodle Restaurant in Bishkek

Located on one of the main streets in Bishkek, Chui Prospect, the Lanzhou Noodle Restaurant is one of the few Chinese-owned restaurants in Bishkek. Owned by a Chinese woman who was born and raised in Bishkek, the restaurant caters for Chinese expats and locals here who love the delicious and diverse flavors of Chinese cuisine. […]

Homestay Experiences in Bishkek and Talas

Bishkek I decided to stay with a local host family in Bishkek to improve my Russian communication skills. My host family has four members, all of whom live on the west side of town. My hosts include the father, mother, their 11-year-old son, and an uncle. Their daughter is currently studying abroad in England, so […]

Bishkek: Student Budgets and Logistics

Students in Bishkek report spending about $25-40 a week average over the course of their stay. This covers groceries, eating at the university cafeteria, city transport, eating out, school supplies, modest weekend entertainment, and other general living expenses. Note that this guide assumes 68 som = 1 US dollar. 100 som is about $1.50. Prices […]

E. Gareyev Botanical Garden in Bishkek

If you love walking outside, and enjoy gardens, butterflies, birdwatching, or running, the E. Gareyev Botanical Garden is a must-see destination when traveling to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. In my short time in Bishkek, I have spent many enjoyable early mornings and late afternoons strolling around this garden. Given its proximity to central Bishkek, a brief walk […]

Public Transportation in Bishkek

In Bishkek, as in many cities, public transportation is the primary and most effective way to get around town. There are four widely-used types of public transportation here: municipal bus, trolleybus, taxi, and marshrutka. 1. Marshrutka Locals have mentioned to me that marshrutkas are their most disliked method of transportation, but they are also evidently […]

Dorm Life at the London School in Bishkek

Where you live while studying has a huge impact on your time in Bishkek. There are three housing options for Bishkek: homestay, off-campus student housing, and on-campus dorms. The homestay is great for those who want to be immersed in Kyrgyz culture and language, but it also costs $10 a day, which can add up. […]

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 […]

Hiking Near Bishkek: 12 Kaminov

While there is plenty to do in Bishkek, the main reason many people choose to study there is to experience the breathtaking landscape of Kyrgyzstan’s countryside. The SRAS program organizes hiking excursions to Ala-Archa and around Issyk-Kul, but there are also free weekends when you can hike independently to lesser-known areas. My friend Allie and […]

Packing List for Study Abroad (+what to do with your laptop, cell phone, etc.)

A semester or year stay abroad requires considerable planning. If you will be spending winter months in most SRAS locations, luggage can quite easily become unwieldy, which can mean airline charges for overweight bags. Planning what you need in advance can help you avoid this (and help you avoid forgetting something important). Invest in good, […]

A Weekend Excursion in Issyk-Kul

Just a few hours after stepping off the plane, I was whisked away on an excursion to Issyk-Kul. I found myself on a van full of students I didn’t know, but with whom I quickly became friends. The ride out to the Issyk-Kul region was a long four hours over bumpy roads with a driver […]

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 […]

Managing Your Cash While Abroad: A Student Guide

Eurasia today is quite affordable. Students are often surprised how far their dollars will go even in major cities like St. Petersburg and Warsaw – and very surprised at how far they go in places like Bishkek and Irkutsk. However, students can also be surprised at how easy it is to run into troubles – […]

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 […]

Barclay’s Sports Bar in Bishkek

Barclay’s Pub 52 Baatik Baatyr Street 17:00-24:00 Entrees around $8-10 Barclays is a very nice sports bar located just a block away from the London School. This is definitely one of my favorite places to hang out with friends because the atmosphere is lively with a wide array of sports being shown. I’ve been able […]

The Coffee House in Bishkek

The Coffee House 27/1 Gorky St. 9:00- 23:00 Coffee and Snack from $5 I decided to try another coffee place close to the London School called The Coffee House, which is conveniently located inside the Vefa Shopping Center. Overall, it is a good coffee shop, however, not my preference even considering the proximity to the […]

DoDo Pizza in Bishkek

DoDo Pizza 101/1 Shopokov Street 8:00-24:00 Pizza for $3 Free drinks at lunch Soon after arriving Bishkek my friend and I decided to find the best pizza restaurant in the city. We now have a shortlist, narrowed from the extensive list of pizza venues, of the two best. One is Imperial Pizza. The other is […]

Imperial Pizza in Bishkek

Imperial Pizza / Империя Пизза 27/1 Gorky Street 8:00-24:00 Pizzas for $4 Imperial Pizza is one of the two best pizza places in Bishkek in my personal opinion. (The other is DoDo, by the way.) Imperial Pizza also has the advantage of being close to the school (less than a three-minute walk), is very affordable, […]

Smokie’s BBQ in Bishkek

Smokie’s Open 24 hours Zhukeeva Pudovkina Steet and Doneteskaya Street, Bishkek Meals for around $14 Something I didn’t think I’d end up craving but inevitably did was barbecue food, in particular a pulled pork sandwich. For the first few months in Bishkek I was under the impression that this was simply something I would have […]

Relax Coffee in Bishkek

Relax Coffee 140 Toktogul Street 8:00- 24:00 Meals from about $10 For ex-pat (homesick) food, I recommend Relax Coffee to anyone in Bishkek. Although it is the most expensive restaurant I’ve personally been to in Bishkek (with bills around around $10), Relax is worth every penny. It is like an Applebee’s or Chili’s, but honestly […]

Fitness House in Bishkek

Fitness House 7:00-23:00 67/1 Baatik Baatura Street $30 per month Although I have many hobbies, my favorite pastime for the last seven years has been lifting, especially powerlifting. When I came to Bishkek, I was honestly worried that it would be difficult to find a decent gym, or at least a decent gym near my […]

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 […]

Cup and Cake Coffee in Bishkek

Cup and Cake 9:30-12:00 (P.M.) 114 Gorky Street At a certain point, everyone just wants a great café to drink coffee, catch up on work, and enjoy a pleasant atmosphere. Luckily there are a few coffee shops near the London School and since I love coffee, I am determined to try each and every one. […]

As-Kazan – Local Food in Bishkek

As-Kazan Кулатова, 20 9:00- 10:00 Main Dishes from $3 As-Kazan has been one of my favorite restaurants throughout my time here in Bishkek. Colloquially referred to as the “Lagman Shop” by my friends, As-Kazan is one of the best restaurants for local ethnic cuisine. The interior is clean, the location is close to our school, […]

Cooksoo – Great Korean Food in Bishkek

Cooksoo Байтик Баатыра 43 11:00-9:30 Main Courses from $3 Cooksoo has become one of my favorite restaurants in Bishkek since I arrived five weeks ago. Between the close proximity, great prices, friendly service, and quality food, it is hard to describe how great this establishment is. Cooksoo offers Korean food at low prices. The menu […]

Room Pub in Bishkek

Room Pub Б. Юнусалиева 142 10:00-2:00 (P.M) Drinks and Dishes under $3 The Room Pub is the definition of a quality hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Originally found by my friends just wandering around Bishkek, the Room Pub is now one of our favorite evening dinner options. Although not located near the school, the Room Pub is easy […]

Burger Club in Bishkek

Burger Club 9:00-22:00 150a Chui Prospect Meals for around $3 At some point during everyone’s time in Bishkek they are going to think to themselves, “Wow I really want American fast food, like maybe a Burger King.” Well, that’s honestly impossible unless you’re willing to drive to Almaty, Kazakhstan. The good news is, however, there […]

Burger House in Bishkek

Burger House 9:30-23:00 71 Kievskaya Street Entrees for around $5 There comes a time for every American student in Bishkek, when he/she just wants American food again. Having spent quality time exploring every popular expat option available in the city I can help anyone out. Burger House is the closest thing to a Five Guy’s […]

Home Sweet Yurt

Yurts are felt-covered, portable housing that have long been used throughout Central Asia. Although the region is urbanizing, the Kyrgyz still know and follow the traditional customs that surround the traditional yurt. Hospitality is revered in the traditionally poor country of Kyrgyzstan. As soon as they see a new arrival, neighbors will come to meet […]

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 […]

Preparing for and Coping with Culture Shock

Some of our students report not feeling culture shock at all. Some are surprised by how much culture shock they experience. Often, those most affected by culture shock are those who did not expect to experience it. So how can you prepare to live in a new culture in order to get the most out […]

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