Author: Josh Wilson

Russian MiniLessons: How to Address Strangers in Russia

The following bilingual Russian MiniLesson is meant to build your vocabulary by providing Russian phrases within English text. Hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation. When addressing strangers in Russia, it is important to maintain an appropriate level of politeness. The address should be in a formal manner, a person should apologize […]

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 […]

Travel to Eastern Europe from Moscow

Note: This text, about a trip I took through Eastern Europe in 2006 is actually still surprisingly up-to-date. This is particularly true of the text’s main message – that actually visiting the places you’ve studied in college and written term papers professing your knowledge of is essential to actually knowing what you are talking about. […]

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 […]

Christine Jacobson: Russia, Kyrgyzstan, the US, and Back Again

Christine Jacobson graduated from Stetson University in Florida with degrees in political science and Russian studies. She studied with SRAS on a custom program in St. Petersburg in 2011. She currently lives and works in Moscow, but is hoping to attend graduate school in the fall of 2014. SRAS: You worked for a year as the Assistant Director of Youth […]

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 […]

Ben Morano: Riding the Trans-Siberian to a Job

Ben Morano serves as an Assistant Program Officer, Europe for the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, DC. He holds a degree in Russian Studies and International Studies: World Politics and Diplomacy from the University of Richmond. He previously served an SRAS-arranged internship with Human Rights Watch in Moscow while studying foreign relations and Russian on a customized […]

Adam Fuss: Translating Russian Communications

Adam Fuss has worked as a freelance writer, editor, translator, and communications professional for over eight years. Prior to establishing ABF Communications in early 2008, he worked on a series of assignments in Moscow, Russia as a writer and translator for several high-profile global corporate communications projects. He holds a graduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. […]

Christopher Brennan: Online News from Russia

Christopher Brennan is an Associate Editor with The Moscow Times and runs that publication’s website and Facebook feed. He formerly served an SRAS-arranged journalism internship there over the summer of 2012 while studying Russian at MGU. He is a recent graduate of Columbia University with degrees in Political Science and Russian Literature and Culture. SRAS: You are currently an Associate […]

12 Russian Brands You Should Buy

Greetings dear readers! As this is an opinion piece, you should first know who I am: an American who finds marketing and pop culture fascinating and who has lived in Russia for more than 10 years. What follows is a list of a few local Russian brands that I’ve personally come to prefer over western […]

Julius “Jay” Wachtel: History, Fiction, and Something In between

Julius (“Jay”) Wachtel was born in Italy. Two weeks later he and his parents, both Holocaust survivors, moved to Buenos Aires. A decade later the family emigrated to the US and settled in Los Angeles. The fact that his mother had been liberated by Soviet troops led Jay to develop an interest in Russian history […]

Matt Robertson: From Russian History to Environment

Matt Robertson is the Programs Director at Tahoe Baikal Institute (TBI), an NGO that connects two of the world’s unique lake ecosystems and, in doing so, promotes Russian-American cultural awareness as well as international cooperation, sustainable development, environmental policy, and peace. He previously studied abroad with SRAS’s Russian as a Second Language program in Moscow and later with TBI’s SEE […]

Cody White: A Touch of Engineering in Russia

Cody White is an undergraduate engineering student at West Virginia University. He is currently halfway through a year long program in Russian Studies Abroad with SRAS, and has managed to use his ability to gain friends in any culture to have some truly remarkable experiences abroad. He hopes to work for the US government in the field […]

Kyra Gordon: God, Guns, and Russia

Kyra Gordon is an International Program Management Specialist, working with US Army contacts to sell weapons systems to US allies. A long-time Russia-enthusiast, her experiences abroad have been long and varied, ranging from missionary and charity work, working professionally in Russia, earning a degree there, and receiving several US-government-sponsored funding opportunities to help her along […]

Lara Peterson: Employment in Russia’s Wilderness

Lara Peterson is the Russia, Europe and Near Asia Program Coordinator for the US Forest Service International Programs. She holds dual degrees in natural resources management and Russian and East European studies and has spent considerable time abroad both as a study abroad student and as a working forestry professional. Students interested in environmental issues […]

Elizabeth Bagot: From Intern to Professional in Russia

Elizabeth Bagot holds a BA from Stanford University in International Relations with a minor in Russian Studies. After graduation, she enrolled for a full year of Russian as a Second Language through SRAS to improve her language skills. She also served an NGO internship and business internship while abroad – which helped lead her to […]

Erin Decker: Translation, Editing, and Advancement in Russia

Erin Decker holds a BA in Political Science and International Studies (Global Security) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After completing SRAS’s Translate Abroad program in 2009, she went on to find employment as a translator and editor in Moscow and has lived there since.  SRAS: You are currently an analyst-level editor for Equity & Fixed Income Research at […]

NASA in Russia: Science Degrees and Careers in Russia

Mark Bowman is the Manager of Moscow Technical Liaison Office (MTLO), the Deputy Director of the Human Space Flight Program-Russia (HSFP-R), in addition to serving as an attache with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. He combined an education in science with a passion for learning about other cultures and languages. SRAS: For those who are complete laymen […]

Shoshana Bella Billik: Techy Russian

Shoshana Bella Billik has degrees in Russian and Information Technology. She has worked for NASA, helped disabled children in Russia learn computer skills, and studied the spread of the Internet in Russia and Central Asia. She also participated in SRAS’s Siberian Studies program. We recently sat down to talk to her about all this.  SRAS: You earned an […]

Chris Pike: Adventure, Teaching, and Giving Back in Russia

Chris Pike is a graduate student in Russian language and literature at Northwestern University. He is also an adventurer who has scaled mountains in Kamchatka and who has ridden a bicycle across the Gobi Desert. He has worked, studied, and interned in Russia as well and has recently completed another “arctic like” adventure on Lake […]

Bradley Gorski: Study Abroad as a Two-Way Street

Bradley Gorski holds a degree in Russian from Georgetown University. Since graduation he has been living in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia, working as the Russia Country Coordinator for EducationUSA. He plans to apply for Ph.D. programs in Slavic Studies to start fall 2011. His research interests are Nabokov, post-Soviet literature and the interplay between linguistics […]

Jess Rivet: Canadian Goalie in Russia

Interview by Lisa Horner, Program Consultant, Institutional Relations. Jess Rivet was a powerhouse during her full year (2009-2010) of Russian as a Second Language (RSL) through The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS). She was always out doing something, whether meeting locals and going to concerts, helping her fellow students, and even playing hockey with a […]

Interview with Robert Chandler: Translation as a Career and a Love

Robert Chandler graduated with a BA in Russian and English Literature from Leeds University.  His translations from Russian include Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate and Everything Flows, Leskov’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Aleksander Pushkin’s The Captain’s Daughter. His co-translations of Andrey Platonov have won prizes both in the UK and in the USA.  His translation of Hamid Ismailov’s The Railway […]

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 […]

Anne Fisher: Translation and Interpreting as Professions

Dr. Anne Fisher holds a Ph.D. in Russian Literature from The University of Michigan. She has taught Russian in several institutes of higher learning and is now a professional translator and interpertor living in California. Her first major translation, Ilf and Petrov’s American Road Trip: The 1935 Travelogue of Two Soviet Writers, was shortlisted for the […]

Renee Stillings: SRAS Program Director, Business Woman, Mother

Renee Stillings has been the Program Director for SRAS since 1996. She is also a co-founder of Alinga Consulting Group and a board member of the US-Russia Chamber of Commerce of New England.  All pictures (and captions) submitted by Renee Stillings. SRAS: When did you first become interested in Russia? Renee Stillings: In high school. I was already taking all […]

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 […]

Mark Lowry: How Russian Children Learn Russian

Mark Lowry completed his undergraduate senior research projects for Stetson University in Russia with the assistance of The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) during the summer of 2009. Contact SRAS for more information on how we can help scholars with visas, housing, insurance, and other on-the-ground support in Russia. SRAS: You are currently majoring in Russian Studies […]

Tabitha Smith: Practical Pulsars

Tabitha Smith completed a customized Russian as a Second Language (RSL) program with The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) during the summer of 2009. The program combined a month of RSL in St. Petersburg, Russia, with visa and travel services to support a month of independently-arranged scientific research in Pushchino, Russia. Contact SRAS for more info on […]

Julia Vail: Reporting on Russia

Julia Vail studied with The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) under the Russian as a Profession program (now part of the Russian Studies Abroad program), combining language and subject study with a hands-on internship in Moscow. She has used this experience to help land a full-time career in journalism and publishing. SRAS: When did you first become […]

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