Chernobyl Tour 2020

One of the must-see attractions in Ukraine is the abandoned Chernobyl Power Plant and surrounding towns and villages. Known together as “the exclusion zone” – the area is only accessible through a tour agency. Since the release of the popular HBO series Chernobyl, ticket prices for these various tour agencies have increased. I purchased my […]

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National Opera of Ukraine

Across the world and throughout history, the opera has played host to the highest classes of society. When I arrived in Kyiv, I was determined to see the extravagance of the Ukrainian National Opera House and witness a performance. I researched the prices online and discovered that an opera ticket costs 400 hryvnia or about […]

Arrival in Kyiv: Homestay Experience

My arrival in Kyiv can be summed up in two words: CULTURE SHOCK! Driving into the city from the airport I saw dozens of Soviet-style apartment buildings. Rundown and leftover from the Cold War, they were 20-storey-tall, real-life pieces of history that I had only ever read of in books and seen in pictures. I […]

Russian as a Second Language Program Review: Kyiv

The first step to studying abroad is choosing where to study abroad. It’s not a simple decision! I struggled a lot in this aspect, but landed on Kyiv because it seemed like a unique place, and I thought I could really improve my Russian language. It didn’t hurt that Kyiv is pretty cheap compared to […]

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, […]

Life in Kyiv

What is life in Kyiv really like? Very often when people in the West think of cities in Eastern Europe, they think of cold, grey landscapes and shortages of basic goods. Kyiv today, however, is a vibrant, colorful place overflowing with street culture, great food, and a global assortment of goods. To help you stay […]

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 are those who did not expect it. So how can you prepare to live in a new culture and get the most out of the experience? How do you prepare […]

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 – […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Kyiv: Student Budgets and Logistics

Students in Irkutsk report spending about $30-50 a week average over the course of their stay. This covers food, city transport, school supplies, modest weekend entertainment, and other general living expenses. Note that this guide assumes 27 Ukrainain Hryvnia = 1 US dollar. Prices current as of February, 2018.   In This Guide Getting Started […]

Lviv – Weekend Trip from Kyiv

Coffee, Chocolate, and a Dose of the True Ukrainian Spirit Cost of Trip from Kyiv to Lviv: 1,425 Hryvnia (Roughly $55 for housing, transport, food, and souvenirs) While studying in Kiev, I’ve had the amazing opportunity of living with a Ukrainian host family who enjoys welcoming students from all over the world. Both of my […]

Mon Cher Restaurant in Kyiv

Mon Cher is a small Lebanese restaurant that’s popular among NovaMova students for a number of reasons. First and foremost: it’s literally a minute walk away from the school! This has come in handy many times, both in regards to my hectic schedule as well as the crazy weather in Kyiv. Secondly, Mon Cher is […]

Dinner at Spotykach in Kyiv, Ukraine

In my opinion, one of the best things about Kyiv is the abundance of grade-A restaurants and pubs that are scattered across the city. Kyiv is home to a wide-range of restaurants, and regardless of what type of cuisine you’re craving, you can always find a place to enjoy a tasty meal. Of course, some […]

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 […]

Shopping in Kyiv

Shopping in Kyiv, Ukraine A Real Bang for your Buck Fall 2017 When packing for my semesters abroad, I gave myself a rule: One backpack and one suitcase. I’m a firm believer in “traveling light,” and one suitcase, in my opinion, is more than enough space for the necessities. Any extra clothes/shoes/accessories that you may […]

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, […]

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 […]

Svaneti: The Mountains of Georgia: Travel for PCON

Svaneti: The Mountains of Georgia Included within Travel Program for Policy and Conflict in the Post-Soviet Space for Spring, 2017 Photojournalism by Rebekah Welch I’m from Missoula, Montana, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, where you’ll find beauty wherever you place your eyes, so much so that you become desensitized to it, take it […]

A Glimpse of Armenia’s Many Monasteries: Travel for PCON

A Glimpse of Armenia’s Many Monasteries Included within Travel Program for Policy and Conflict in the Post-Soviet Space for Spring, 2017 A little known fact (at least, in America, where most things about Armenia are unknown) is that Armenia despite its many Muslim neighbors, was actually the world’s first Christian nation, officially adopting it in […]

Podil District in Kyiv

Podil: Persons, places, and things from my favorite district in Kyiv Free and always open Month of April, 2017 Photojournalism by Rebekah Welch Podil, podil, podil. If you ever go to Kyiv, all the Ukrainians you meet will tell you that you have to go to Podil. Once, a particularly pompous Russian professor even went […]

Travel to Chisinau from Kyiv: Travel for PCON

Moments from the Streets of Moldova Included within Travel Program for Policy and Conflict in the Post-Soviet Space for Spring, 2017 Photojournalism by Rebekah Welch Although it’s a mere hour away by plane, Chisinau feels far from Kyiv. It’s smaller, slower-paced, simpler, closer to nature, and entirely more curious about foreigners with cameras. That’s not […]

Andrievskii Descent in Kyiv

Andrievskii Descent at Sunset  A Walk through one of my favorite stretches of Kyiv Free and always open  Month of March, 2017 Photojournalism by Rebekah Welch There are many persons, places, and things I love about Kyiv, but undoubtedly, there is one place pretty much everyone agrees is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful spots […]

Tarasa Shevchenko Park

Tarasa Shevchenko Park in Kyiv Volodymyrska Street 60 Open always Not unlike in any northern city that spends its winters under cloud cover, devoid of blue skies, sunlight, and Vitamin D for several months, the Spring in Kyiv is a magical time. People emerge from their homes, offices, and the cafe-bars where they’ve been hiding […]

Old Bar: Microbrews in Kyiv

Old Bar: The Answer to My Beer Problems Bolshaya Vasilkovskaya 20A Sun-Thurs: 2pm-midnight, Fri-Sat: 2pm-2am $3-4 per pint Since I arrived in Kyiv, I’ve been to several clubs, a couple pubs, and god knows how many restaurants that call themselves cafe/bars. This last classification is basically a coffee shop that serves hooch and is a […]

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 Lviv from Kyiv

Trip to Lviv from Kyiv: An Indescribable Place, Described through Photos Weekend or Longer Trip Price: $150 inclusive for three days Best way to get there: Train Worth it: Absolutely When I stumbled off the night train at six a.m. in Lviv, the far western Ukrainian city, I was already beginning to understand just what […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pinchuk Art Centre in Kyiv

Pinchuk Modern Art Centre  Velitsa Vasilkivska/Baseina 1/3-2 Kyiv, 01004 Open Tues-Sat, and Sun 12:00-21:00 Free The Pinchuk (modern) Art Centre in Kyiv contains two of my favorite things: modern art, and people who wear fake horn-rimmed glasses and go take selfies with modern art. Come for the art and culture, but stay for the people […]

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