Author: Kristin Torres

Returning Home after Five Months in St. Petersburg

As part of its September issue, the Russian edition of Esquire magazine turned its focus from celebrities to “ordinary people,” including Vasily Ilyn, a retired farmer from a village in rural Russia. The issue includes an interview with him and a handful of other “ordinary” Russians for Esquire’s ПРАВИЛА ЖИЗНИ series, or “Rules of Life.” […]

Culture Shock: Living with other international students

Most of us probably knew we were in for inevitable culture shock when we arrived in Russia, no matter how much we had convinced ourselves we were prepared. Sometimes it comes on quick, but other times culture shock reveals itself incredibly slowly. It took longer for this to sink in, but one of the ways […]

Couch Surfing to New Friends in St. Petersburg

We try to anticipate everything before we head abroad – Where will I live? What kind of clothes do I need to bring? Where will I go if I get sick? What kind of transportation will be available in the city? But there’s also a more obvious question that we may forget about until we […]

Shopping and Miscommunication in St. Petersburg

My first two days in Russia were spent rationing the granola bars, dried fruit, and airplane pretzel packets I had brought with me in my carry-on bag. This was despite the fact that I have not one, but two markets within a five-minute walk from my dorm. One is even open 24 hours. What accounted […]

Ideas of What’s Rude and Polite in Russia

If you’re like me, you tried to prepare for life in a foreign country by researching important ways the new culture differs from your home culture. While research can shed light on some of the more obvious differences, many nuances are skipped over, and can only be considered when in a real-life situation. Each culture […]