Russian as a Second Language in Bishkek and Irkutsk

Program Evaluation Russian as a Second Language in Bishkek and Irkutsk (plus Home and Abroad Scholarship)   Academic Program in Bishkek and Irkutsk Bishkek First, the basics. I was in the Russian as a Second Language program. I had class four days a week, 8:30 to 2:30, all Russian-language. My day off, Wednesday, was devoted to grammar […]

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Barclay’s Sports Bar in Bishkek

Barclay’s Pub 52 Baatik Baatyr Street 17:00-24:00 Entrees around $8-10 Barclays is a very nice sports bar located just a block away from the London School. This is definitely one of my favorite places to hang out with friends because the atmosphere is lively with a wide array of sports being shown. I’ve been able […]

The Coffee House in Bishkek

The Coffee House 27/1 Gorky St. 9:00- 23:00 Coffee and Snack from $5 I decided to try another coffee place close to the London School called The Coffee House, which is conveniently located inside the Vefa Shopping Center. Overall, it is a good coffee shop, however, not my preference even considering the proximity to the […]

DoDo Pizza in Bishkek

DoDo Pizza 101/1 Shopokov Street 8:00-24:00 Pizza for $3 Free drinks at lunch Soon after arriving Bishkek my friend and I decided to find the best pizza restaurant in the city. We now have a shortlist, narrowed from the extensive list of pizza venues, of the two best. One is Imperial Pizza. The other is […]

Imperial Pizza in Bishkek

Imperial Pizza / Империя Пизза 27/1 Gorky Street 8:00-24:00 Pizzas for $4 Imperial Pizza is one of the two best pizza places in Bishkek in my personal opinion. (The other is DoDo, by the way.) Imperial Pizza also has the advantage of being close to the school (less than a three-minute walk), is very affordable, […]

Smokie’s BBQ in Bishkek

Smokie’s Open 24 hours Zhukeeva Pudovkina Steet and Doneteskaya Street, Bishkek Meals for around $14 Something I didn’t think I’d end up craving but inevitably did was barbecue food, in particular a pulled pork sandwich. For the first few months in Bishkek I was under the impression that this was simply something I would have […]

Relax Coffee in Bishkek

Relax Coffee 140 Toktogul Street 8:00- 24:00 Meals from about $10 For ex-pat (homesick) food, I recommend Relax Coffee to anyone in Bishkek. Although it is the most expensive restaurant I’ve personally been to in Bishkek (with bills around around $10), Relax is worth every penny. It is like an Applebee’s or Chili’s, but honestly […]

Fitness House in Bishkek

Fitness House 7:00-23:00 67/1 Baatik Baatura Street $30 per month Although I have many hobbies, my favorite pastime for the last seven years has been lifting, especially powerlifting. When I came to Bishkek, I was honestly worried that it would be difficult to find a decent gym, or at least a decent gym near my […]

Jiu-Jitsu Training in Bishkek

Top Team Jiu-Jitsu Training Sessions are at different times I trained M/W/F 7:00-9:00 P.M. Located on Geological Street (It’s the first alley on Baatik Baatura after you pass Vefa walking from the School) When I first arrived in Bishkek I decided that I’d like to continue my martial arts training. I had done a few […]

Travel to Georgia from Bishkek

Travel to Georgia from Bishkek ~$400 for a 6-day trip I am currently a student in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan but I love traveling in general. Therefore, when my friend studying in Moscow asked me if I’d be interested in taking a trip to Georgia to meet up, I obviously said “Yes.” I planned out a six-day […]

Cup and Cake Coffee in Bishkek

Cup and Cake 9:30-12:00 (P.M.) 114 Gorky Street At a certain point, everyone just wants a great café to drink coffee, catch up on work, and enjoy a pleasant atmosphere. Luckily there are a few coffee shops near the London School and since I love coffee, I am determined to try each and every one. […]

As-Kazan – Local Food in Bishkek

As-Kazan Кулатова, 20 9:00- 10:00 Main Dishes from $3 As-Kazan has been one of my favorite restaurants throughout my time here in Bishkek. Colloquially referred to as the “Lagman Shop” by my friends, As-Kazan is one of the best restaurants for local ethnic cuisine. The interior is clean, the location is close to our school, […]

Cooksoo – Great Korean Food in Bishkek

Cooksoo Байтик Баатыра 43 11:00-9:30 Main Courses from $3 Cooksoo has become one of my favorite restaurants in Bishkek since I arrived five weeks ago. Between the close proximity, great prices, friendly service, and quality food, it is hard to describe how great this establishment is. Cooksoo offers Korean food at low prices. The menu […]

Room Pub in Bishkek

Room Pub Б. Юнусалиева 142 10:00-2:00 (P.M) Drinks and Dishes under $3 The Room Pub is the definition of a quality hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Originally found by my friends just wandering around Bishkek, the Room Pub is now one of our favorite evening dinner options. Although not located near the school, the Room Pub is easy […]

Burger Club in Bishkek

Burger Club 9:00-22:00 150a Chui Prospect Meals for around $3 At some point during everyone’s time in Bishkek they are going to think to themselves, “Wow I really want American fast food, like maybe a Burger King.” Well, that’s honestly impossible unless you’re willing to drive to Almaty, Kazakhstan. The good news is, however, there […]

Burger House in Bishkek

Burger House 9:30-23:00 71 Kievskaya Street Entrees for around $5 There comes a time for every American student in Bishkek, when he/she just wants American food again. Having spent quality time exploring every popular expat option available in the city I can help anyone out. Burger House is the closest thing to a Five Guy’s […]

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 […]

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 […]

Minorities Abroad: Additional Resources

This site isn’t the only resource for minority students studying in Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern Europe! Below is a collection of interesting and useful sites from around the web, featuring videos, interviews, and much more. (Thanks to the many folks on ADSEEES and SEELANGS who have shared them!) If you’d like to suggest an additional […]

Bishkek Street Food: Corn on the Cob

Горячая кукуруза / Hot Corn Address: Throughout Bishkek Price: 50 som (about $0.75) for one large cob, but varies with seller and market. During the summer months one can find plenty of things to buy on street corners: drinks, snacks, newspapers and the list can go on and on.  One of the more unexpected buys that […]

Global Village Festival in Bishkek

AIESEC “Global Village” Cultural Festival Bishkek Park Shopping Center Free Globalvillage.aiesec.kg and on Facebook The Global Village festival is put on every year by the exchange program AIESEC based at the American University of Central Asia. Local students on this program are very welcoming and interested in sharing their stories and learning from international students. […]

Eco-Cup Environmental Movie Festival

ЭкоЧашка / Eco-Cup Дом Кино, ул. Логвиненко 13 FRMI.kg and on Facebook Finding out about events in general in Bishkek has been a bit of a challenge and then finding them physically has always been the second one for me. Make sure to check out the SRAS Bishkek guide for suggestions on sources of events […]

National Library of Kyrgyzstan

The National Library of Kyrgyzstan/Национальная библиотека Кыргызской Республики Address: 208 Советская near the National Art Museum Hours: 9-5 every day, closed on the last Friday of the month Price: Day Pass is 5 som, Year-long pass with proper documentation is 30 som. NationalLibraryofKyrgyzstan.org NLKR.gov.kg On the walking tour of Bishkek, the group is taken towards […]

Ruh-Ordo Complex – a Day Trip from Bishkek

Ruh-Ordo Complex/ Культурный центр Рух-Ордо Address: Чолпон-Ата, Киргизия Hours 9-5 Monday-Sunday Admission: 300 som Ruhordo.kg If you visit Lake Issyk-Kul during the summer, check out the Ruh-Ordo Complex at Cholpon-Ata. This complex is an open air museum with beaches that boats an array of sculptures and cultural pieces, along with buildings devoted to Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Catholicism, […]

Kyrgyz Horse Games – a Day Trip from Bishkek

National Kyrgyz Horse Games / Националные конно-спортивные игры Address: Ипподром near Cholpon-Ata on Issyk-Kul Free This year elections for the Issyk-Kul region were coming. This does not affect life much as a temporary student in Kyrgyzstan except that it means that the Бир Бол political party set up the Horse Games with free entrance for anyone! […]

Making Lagman in Bishkek

One of the cultural classes we have done with SRAS is a cooking class. In the cooking class we were taught how to make Lagman, one of the main dishes of the shepherding cultures of Central Asia. It is a good, filling, and simple dish perfect for life in the mountains or for a lunch […]

The Vegetarian’s Guide to Bishkek

Being a vegetarian in Bishkek was not nearly as challenging as I had expected it to be. This incomplete guide covers some of the places and dishes I discovered during my nine months in Kyrgyzstan’s capital that made vegetarianism there even easier, and more delicious. I’m not a vegan (I eat diary and eggs), but […]

Supara Ethno-Complex, Bishkek

Supara Ethno-Complex/Супара Этно-Комплекс Supara.kg 1a Karagul Akmata Str., Kok-Jar village Meals from 340 som Супара Этно-Комплекс (Supara Ethno-Complex) on the scenic outskirts of Bishkek, was developed over the past several years by Tabyldy Egemberdiev, president of the enormously popular Шоро (Shoro) Company, which produces traditional Kyrgyz drinks, among other things. Egemberdiev’s wife, Janyl, was a […]

Chong-Kemin Valley, Kyrgyzstan

Mist, Mud, and Mountains in Beautiful Chong-Kemin Weekend Trip ~1000 som Chong-Kemin Valley is home to villages, a national park, and a state reserve just two and a half hours from Bishkek by marshrutka. I visited a village in the valley with two friends in March, travelling through CBT (Community Based Tourism). With more time […]

Bishkek Walking Tour

New SRAS students at the London School in Bishkek are introduced to the city and some of its major landmarks on a walking tour shortly after arrival. I took this tour on the afternoon of my first day here at the end of August. It was hot, the streets were busy, and little stands along […]

Jewish Bishkek: A Brief History and Guide

My experience with the Jewish community in Bishkek began on a weekday evening in September. I did not really expect to find a synagogue on Suyumbayev Street. I had been following the gradually narrowing road for blocks, eventually across the wide Jibek-Jolu Avenue. On the other side of this thoroughfare, Suyumbayev was sidewalk-less, and full […]

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