Russian Learners and Speakers Club in St. Petersburg

One of the most intimidating and difficult parts of learning a language is speaking. I only really found this out after coming abroad. Most foreign language courses will start with the alphabet, grammar structure, and basic phrases needed to navigate a foreign city. This was the level of Russian I had when I first arrived […]

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Day Trip to a Russian Dacha from St. Petersburg

For my spring semester abroad, I’m studying right in the heart of St. Petersburg, Russia. I’m surrounded by a ton of cute cafes and diverse restaurants, and I’m within walking distance of several popular attractions in the city, such as the Hermitage and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. However, being in the […]

The Art of Daily Practice and Conversations

It’s a little bit surprising to look at the calendar and think that half of my first semester in Vladivostok is already gone. Seven weeks seem to have effortlessly drifted by in strict contention with my own efforts at learning the Russian language. I can say that my knowledge of Russian when I arrived in […]

All About Anticafes in St. Petersburg

Anticafes in St. Petersburg Hang out and meet locals Multiple Locations in St. Petersburg Russian: антикафе. Also called a free space (свободное пространство), time-club (тайм-клуб), or time-cafe (тайм-кафе) Anti-cafes are “free spaces” for you to relax with friends, keep busy with wi-fi, play board games or video games, drink tea and coffee, nom on some […]

Personal Experience: Homestay St. Petersburg

During my seven month stay in St. Petersburg, I opted to live in a homestay with a Russian host family. I initially had images of a small apartment with carpets on the walls and lace pillow covers, Russian children biting my ankles, and a warm and loving grandmother (babushka) to dote on me and stuff […]

Personal Experience: Playing Baseball in St. Petersburg

Many SRAS students seek to add extracurricular activities to their time abroad to help them integrate into their communities, improve language skills, and make new friends outside their classes. Particularly in Russia, where universities do not tend to officially host many clubs, reaching out of your comfort zone to find new opportunities is key (and […]

12 Tips for Meeting Locals in St. Petersburg

One of the factors study abroad returnees quote as most highly influential in their experience is the relationships they make with locals. The benefits of making friends with Russians are far-reaching, including everything from language practice to having a couch to crash on next time you’re in town. The following is a list of places […]

The Trouble with English

Before heading to St. Petersburg, SRAS coordinator, April Djakoniya, asked each of us to write down any volunteer opportunities we wanted to pursue. When studying Russian in America, one of the most helpful resources for me was native speaker volunteers, who were willing to sit through my poor Russian speaking and still always be very […]

Home Sweet Homestay

For most students looking to study abroad, one of the biggest questions they face is whether to pay the extra money for a homestay, or just live in the dorms, which for SRAS programs, are covered in your base cost. I have been lucky enough to study in Moscow and live at the dorms, and study in St. […]

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