Author: SRAS

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 […]

Thai Massage in St. Petersburg

I was thrilled when I realized that I was going to celebrate my 21st birthday while studying abroad in St. Petersburg. My sole goal was to have a fun and unforgettable day with friends, and so I made a plan. Earlier this semester, I had a huge craving for food from back home. As a […]

Top 5 Burger Places in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg has a long reputation as a cultural hub and as a “window” for Russia on other cultures. In recent years, these aspects have converged to make St. Petersburg a gastronomic capital of a Russia and a city that is never short of ways to keep your mouth drooling. With a great selection of […]

Top 5 Asian Places in St Petersburg

Having grown up in Thailand, I often get cravings for Asian food. While abroad, I’m often disappointed, however, as much of what you can find abroad is cheap and inauthentic. Luckily for me, there are several places in St Petersburg that know what they are doing. I have spent time as an exchange student here […]

Hard-to-Find Foods in Russia

In 2005, when this resource was first developed, supermarket chains in Russia were only first developing. Brand and product selection, while perhaps normal for a post-Soviet location, was disappointing and monotonous for most visitors. The restaurant scene, even in places like Moscow and St. Petersburg, also felt underdeveloped. Of the three things commonly looked for […]

Meeting All Seven Sisters In Moscow

Spread throughout the city of Moscow are seven imposing buildings, called variously “The Seven Sisters” or “Stalin’s Skyscrapers.” While visiting Moscow as part of my study abroad experience to St. Petersburg, I wound up setting off on an unexpected mission to see them all that also helped show me much more of this fascinating and […]

Russian as a Second Language with Scholarship: A Semester in St. Petersburg

Why did you choose your program and location? Ever since my older sisters did semester-long study abroad programs while they were in university, I knew that I wanted to do the same. Having studied Russian at university for two years, going on a program in Russia or Ukraine made a lot of sense for me. […]

The Cultural Legacy of Peredelkino, a Day Trip from Moscow

It’s an exceptionally warm winter day in Peredelkino, a former writers’ village just 20 minutes from Moscow by commuter train. I have the pleasure of going on another well- organized and informative SRAS-arranged Bridge to Moscow tour to visit this iconic place. Peredelkino is a village with wide-ranging cultural value, from its status as a […]

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 – […]

Experiencing the 20th Century Through Art in the New Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

As you approach the New Tretyakov building, the cold February wind numbing your face, you look up and can’t help feeling dwarfed by the large modern-brutalist structure and the thought of the agglomeration of a century’s worth of artwork inside. Once you get past the imposing exterior, however, you are welcomed by a spacious and […]

A Grand Tour of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg

At some point in your SRAS program in St. Petersburg, there will be a trip to the Hermitage. Sergey is the usual tour guide for this trip, and he is full of stories and inside facts that you would have never gotten if you had gone on your own. When you’re walking toward the Hermitage […]

Make the Most of a Layover in Moscow Heading to Irkutsk

Layovers in major cities are very common in international travel and are often regarded as a headache to be kept to an hour or two – just enough to make sure you make the connecting flight. However, layovers can be a convenient opportunity for extra travel – planning extended layovers can allow you to see […]

Suliko – Georigan in St. Petersburg

Suliko Restaurant / Ресторан “Сулико” Казанская 6 Daily 10:00-24:00 Meals from 500 rubles Sulikospb.ru If there’s one non-Russian national cuisine that you should sample while in Russia, it is Georgian. Even Pushkin, who claimed that “каждое грузинское блюдо – это поэма” (“every Georgian dish is a poem”), would agree. And once you’ve tried it, good […]

Remembrance of WWII in St. Petersburg

Throughout my program in Russia these past few months, the toll of the Second World War, has often been present and palpable. During World War II and the Great Fatherland War, the name Russians give the part of the war that took part on Soviet land, approximately 20-30 million Soviet men and women perished. Some […]

Literary History on the Trans-Siberian Railroad

This article originally appeared on SRAS.org in 2007. It is reproduced here, in updated format, as an excellent guide to using travel to bolster cultural understanding and professional insight.  A guide to scholarly growth through travel and the literary richness of the Trans-Siberian If you are studying abroad in Russia and you have an opportunity […]

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 […]

WAVE Burgers in St. Petersburg

With a few months in St. Petersburg now under my belt, I’ve had a lot of opportunity to try new local and regional food. I’ve also built up a short list of favorite restaurants for most cravings that I get as an American for more familiar grub. Alas, I had been unable to find a […]

Castro Cafe in Irkutsk

Castro Café provides a scene familiar to anyone who has spent time as a college student and needed to find a place outside the house to study. The café exhibits all the hallmarks of a coffee-house located in a city dotted with universities and colleges, as Irkutsk certainly is. If you would assume that Castro […]

Asador Steak House in Irkutsk

The Asador Steak House is located right on Улица Ленина (Ulitsa Lenina, or Lenin Street), not far from the Monument to Lenin, and within easy walking distance from the Linguistic University. Of all the restaurants I’ve been to in Irkutsk, this is easily one of more high-end of-places, and even though this is coming from […]

Volunteer Opportunities in Russia

Due to frequent student requests for such information, we have provided the following list of charities in Russia that generally accept volunteers and/or donations. Expenses, Legalities, and Logistics: Interested students should contact these organizations directly. SRAS bears no direct relation to them. None of these organizations, to our knowledge, offer volunteers financial or material assistance: […]

History of Vegetarianism in Russia

The following article originally appeared in Russian on Vegetarianskij.ru. It has been translated and adapted by SRAS for presentation here. History of Vegetarianism in Russia The official coming of vegetarianism to Russia was inaugurated with the opening of the first vegetarian society. This was in Saint-Petersburg in the mid-1860s. The society was humorously called “Ни […]

Govinda in Irkutsk

Govinda is a surprisingly progressive restaurant for the conservative, Siberian nature of Irkutsk. Styled with an Indian flair, it is the first restaurant I’ve been to in this city offers a completely vegetarian menu. Ordering your food begins with approaching a large display of colorful dishes behind glass. Picking out what you want in the […]

Seven Places in Moscow Where You Can Eat For ~200 Rubles

With the current exchange rates, Moscow is a remarkably affordable place for foreign students. However, we should all be careful with budgets – even as we are adventurous in trying to new places. Here is a line up of remarkable and affordable places to eat around Moscow. This list was originally offered by the Facebook […]

“Crossroads of Empires” Program Evaluation

Note: this is an open and honest evaluation from a participant on the inaugural run of SRAS’ new Crossroads of Empires program. SRAS actively seeks out feedback from students on all programs so that we can continually improve our offerings. While we plan to retain the rigorous nature of this program, we are working with […]

Hochu Harcho in St. Petersburg

This past weekend, I had some of the best food I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Fellow SRAS student Molly and I wanted to try something new, and a lot of our friends had been raving about how good Georgian food was. So we got a recommendation, and went out to try it. […]

Swan Lake at the Alexandrinsky Theater St. Petersburg

Swan Lake was not the first ballet I had been to, but it was definitely the best. Before I came to Russia, one of the things that I absolutely had to do was to go see a ballet at one of the beautiful theaters. I was so happy that some of my good friends also […]

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 […]

Black Bread: Professional Network of Black Russian Speakers

Black Bread is a professional network of Black Russian-speakers. Black Bread members are based primarily in New York City & Washington, DC, but many reside throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. They represent a wide range of career fields – academia, non-profit & private sectors, government, the arts, intelligence, and more – yet are […]

The Amazing Experience of Living with a Host Family in Irkutsk

Many students study abroad and each will have a unique experience. In my opinion, the opportunity to live with a host family when in Irkutsk is not to be missed.Some programs allow students to stay in dormitories, where they can interact with other students, or in apartments where they can really live in the city, […]

5 Ways To Experience Buryat Culture in Irkutsk

Today there are approximately 500,000 people that identify with the largest indigenous group living in Siberia, the Buryats.  The Buryats are a group of people descendent of various Siberian and Mongolian people that inhabited the Lake Baikal area, where most of the ethnic group is still concentrated, with many continuing to engage in traditional ways […]

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