Author: Charlie Bacsik

Five Great Burger Places in St. Petersburg, Russia 

When studying abroad in any country, it’s completely normal to go through periods of culture shock and homesickness. Every student will discover their own ways to fight this, whether it be through watching a favorite movie or calling a friend or family member. Personally, whenever I find myself missing home, I typically go on a […]

Koreana Restaurant in St. Petersburg

During one of my many afternoons of wandering around the city and exploring the streets of St. Petersburg, I stumbled across the Koreana Restaurant. Having never tried Korean food before, I texted one of my fellow classmates who was familiar with the cuisine and invited her along with me. She mentioned that she’d heard fabulous […]

Boat Tour Around St. Petersburg – My Farewell to the City

As the spring semester was winding down in St. Petersburg, my fellow classmates and I all wanted to have one last stroll around the city. Luckily for us, SRAS had another idea in mind: a boat tour! Our local coordinator informed us that we’d have an hour tour that would take us around the canals […]

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 […]

Mamalyga Georgian Restaurant in St. Petersburg

Of all the different types of cuisines and national foods that I’ve tried throughout my time studying abroad, it’s safe to say that Georgian food is hands down my favorite. Having traveled to Georgia and tried the national dishes as made there, I find myself constantly searching for a restaurant in St. Petersburg that can […]

Soulmate Cat Cafe in St. Petersburg

Coffee and cats – what could be better? One thing that many students studying abroad have in common is the yearning to see their beloved pets again. Not all students are ready to return home, but many of them simply miss their pets and are in dire need of some animal cuddling. Luckily for my […]

Four Day Trip to Moscow from St. Petersburg

When I told my family that I would be studying abroad in Russia, they all seemed to ask me the similar question of would I get to see the Kremlin, Red Square, or St. Basil’s Cathedral. I always found these inquiries to be comical because all three of these are located in Moscow, yet I […]

Weekend Trip to Helsinki, Finland from St. Petersburg

While studying abroad in St. Petersburg, I’ve had the opportunity to travel quite a bit, both within Russia and internationally. There are a handful of countries that are surprisingly easy and cost-friendly to travel to from St. Petersburg. The most popular weekend destinations for students are the neighboring states of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland. […]

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 […]

Intelligent Flea Market in St. Petersburg, Russia

Where the Affordable Meets the Trendy As an avid window-shopper and a habitual bargainer, it’s understandable why flea markets hold a special place in my heart. I can confidently say that I have never turned down going to any kind of flea market, even if it has landed me in some unimpressive places. For the […]

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 […]

Maslenitsa Through the Eyes of American Students, 2018

On February 17, squares, avenues and parks in every corner of Russia celebrated Maslenitsa, a traditional Russian holiday that marks the imminent end of winter with mountains of hot, delicious blini and revelry. Originally a pagan holiday celebrated as early as the 2nd century A.D., Maslenitsa has been somewhat folded into Orthodox Christian traditions and […]

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 […]

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 […]

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