Author: SRAS Students

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 […]

Five Best Coffee Shops in Vladivostok

Vladivostok is known for being a European city in the heart of Asia. It also offers some pretty decent coffee at a number of modern coffee shops. After a month of exploring the city and trying different cafes, here is my list of the five best coffee shops in Vladivostok. Кафема (Cafema) Located in the […]

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 […]

Arrival in St. Petersburg

Oh, look, a forest. The first thing that I noticed after touching down at Pulkovo Airport (other than how exhausted I felt) was a wide belt of trees on the runway. Whether or not they are enough to be considered a forest, I am not positive. But it definitely felt like an appropriate first sight […]

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 […]

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 […]

Being Catholic in Irkutsk

Staying religious abroad can be hard for many; I know it has been for me, especially in an environment where there is a language barrier and it takes a bit of effort to seek out the resources needed. Luckily, after visiting a few different churches, I found The Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral (Собор Непорочного […]

My Budget in Irkutsk

Irkutsk is a very affordable city especially in comparison to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and American cities. Most students in Irkutsk can live on average of 30-50 dollars per week. I am very frugal and spend about 30-35 dollars per week but depending on your shopping habits, that can vary widely. Note: The ruble during my […]

Holidays in Russia

For a full list of holidays of cultural importance in Russia with dates, days off, and histories included, please see this article on Folkways, part of the SRAS Family of Sites. Share this…FacebookTwitterLinkedinVKStumbleUponemailPrint

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.  It was written by Sarah Kapp, who studied Russian as a Second Language in Moscow through The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS). She also […]

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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

Rollerblading in Irkutsk

Ролики в Иркутске By Elizabeth Smart Irkutsk is a city filled with historical markers and buildings, blossoming parks, and spectacular views. How does one manage to take in all these sights within the city of Irkutsk? By rollerblade of course! The fad that swept the US in the 80s and 90s has a thriving culture […]

Kirov Square: the Place to Go in Irkutsk

Why Kirov Square is the Place to Go in Irkutsk By Selene Palomo   Students! Are you looking for a place to picnic, take a break, or attend festivals? Kirov Square will definitely be able to offer you all of those things. Kirov Square is located between the streets of Lenin and Sukhbaatar, just across the […]

How to Survive as a Vegetarian in Irkutsk

How to Survive as a Vegetarian in Irkutsk By Lacey Reimer I knew that being a vegetarian studying abroad in Irkutsk would not be easy. Most Russian dishes are filled with chicken, beef, and/or fish. Although I was a little upset that I would not be able to enjoy some of the more traditional Russian […]

Student Blog on Socialist Realist Art

Allie Bull studied Russian language and art over the summer of 2013 on a customized program with SRAS. As part of her studies, Allie has begun a blog “exploring what Socialist Realism is, how it emerged, major themes, and this art today.” She also discusses, in part, her studies abroad. See more about Allie’s work […]

Where Are All the Subway Toilets?

The Village is a Russian-language publication in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kiev that seeks to inform locals about their various cities, upcoming events, urban changes, and history. The following is an interesting entry from a series of short articles geared to answer the “strangest questions about city life” in the cities covered by the publication. […]

“Culture Fatigue” in Vladivostok

Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine contain cultures and languages very different from those most Americans are used to. SRAS believes that this makes these countries especially good locations for study abroad – it forces one to search for reasons why others might hold beliefs and practice behaviors different from those that one has long taken for […]

Kyrgyzstan, A Love Story II: Immigrating to America

This is the second of a two part series. Read part one here. Living on opposite sides of the world, it would seem unlikely that I, a small-town American girl, would even meet my future husband, Rakhat, who is from a small village in Kyrgyzstan. However, as it happened, Peace Corps volunteers lived with his […]

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