Author: The School of Russian and Asian Studies

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 – […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Vladivostok: Fort No. 7

By Lisa Horner Lisa Horner works for SRAS in program development and student relations. Each month the SRAS newsletter features news and information about Russia! Vladivostok, along with dozens of other cities, was a closed city from 1958 to 1992. This means the city had special travel and residency restrictions. It was completely closed to […]

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 local team in […]

Underground Theater in St. Petersburg

As I attended my 20th class at St. Petersburg State University, an old woman waltzed into the room speaking rapid-fire Russian, waving theater tickets and emphasizing the words Fyodor Dostoevsky with much grandeur. My curiosity was piqued. The tickets were handwritten, the location of the theater obscure. In bold on the front of the ticket […]

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