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 – […]

Read more

Arrival in Irkutsk: Student Impressions

Let our Irkutsk students let you know what to expect when arriving to Irkutsk! Heading abroad is always a big step and can feel exciting or overwhelming – or both. Learn from the experience of others and hit the ground running! How did you feel when you first arrived? Bronwyn Galloway (Fall, 2019): When I […]

Life in Irkutsk: Student Reviews of the City

Despite the quiet small-town feel, Irkutsk boasts an impressive cultural legacy, and is center stage for important environmental debates. To help you better understand what life is like there, we’ve asked our students to share spme of the experiences they had while studying abroad in this wonderful city. Finding Things SRAS: First, think of the […]

Buying a SIM Card in Russia: Free Russian Lesson

This free Russian MiniLesson will help you learn the vocabulary need to get a SIM card in Russia. If you are on a regular SRAS study abroad program, SRAS will help you to obtain a local SIM card. In many locations, SRAS can also supply you with a “burner” phone for use while on the […]

Addressing Strangers in Russian: Building Russian Vocabulary

The following bilingual Russian MiniLesson is meant to build your vocabulary by providing Russian phrases within English text. Hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation. When addressing strangers in Russia, it is important to maintain an appropriate level of politeness. The address should be in a formal manner, a person should apologize […]

International Airfare For Study Abroad

SRAS is not in the business of selling plane tickets, with the exception of group educational tours and domestic flights not available for purchase outside of Russia. An economy-class, round-trip ticket from New York to Moscow, as of June, 2020, averages between $500-1000, depending on the time of year, carrier, and other factors. If you are using […]

Irkutsk Housing

Students on SRAS programs in Irkutsk can choose between dormitory stays and homestays. See the invidual program pages for details. The reviews below of the Irkutsk dormitories and Irkutsk homestays are meant to help students make their decisions and prepare for their time abroad. Dormitories in Irkutsk   Living Conditions Katya Grigerman (Summer, 2019): I […]

Restaurant Etiquette in Irkutsk: Thoughts from an American Restaurant Host

In the two months that I have lived in Irkutsk, I have eaten out a lot. Every day for lunch, I like to try a new cafe or restaurant. I work as a host at a restaurant back home, so I’m very familiar with American dining customs and hospitality guidelines. As such, I have noticed […]

Irkutsk Travel Excursions from SRAS

The Irkutsk and Baikal areas abound in locations that highlight its cultural and environmental heritage. Below are a sampling of some of the trips that SRAS groups have taken in the past as part the cultural package offered with SRAS Programs in Irkutsk. Note that not all trips are taken each session and not all […]

Olkhon Weekend Trip from Irkutsk

One weekend, my two friends and I decided to take a weekend trip to Olkhon. The planning for the trip was overall very simple! The best way to the island is to take a marshrutka (a small bus). The trip will take about six hours and cost 600-1000 rubles ($9-15) each way. If you have […]

Irkutsk: Student Budgets and Logistics

Students in Irkutsk report spending about $35-50 a week average over the course of their stay. This covers groceries, eating at the university cafeteria, city transport, an occasional meal out, school supplies, mo dest weekend entertainment, and other general living expenses. Note that this guide assumes 65 rubles = 1 US dollar. Prices current as […]

SRAS Guide to Living in Irkutsk

The following is a quick overview to some of those services and products that students often need in the course of a semester or summer abroad. This covers everything from haircuts to pharmacies and gyms to computer repair. Students should generally expect to need to speak at least some Russian when seeking out these experiences […]

A Manicure in Irkutsk

Back in the States, I’ve gotten enough manicures to know the difference between a good one and a bad one. Or at least that’s what I had thought until I came to Russia. A few days into being in Irkutsk I realized I needed to get one, and decided to call around to a few […]

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 […]

Packing List for Study Abroad

A semester or year stay abroad requires considerable planning. You will need to consider the season and location as well as what you need to bring and what you should find abroad. If you will be spending winter months in most SRAS locations, luggage can quite easily become unwieldy, which can mean airline charges for […]

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 […]

Dorm Cooking Tips and Simple Recipies

Many students come abroad with minimal cooking experience. Add to this the fact that you’ll need to shop in a foriegn language and that your kitchen situation can often be very basic, many students shy from cooking altogether. However, cooking and shopping can be great cultural experiences, not to mention a great way to keep […]

Irkutsk Study Abroad Reviews

We asked some SRAS graduates to share their open and honest evaluations of their experiences on SRAS Study Abroad in Irkutsk. SRAS actively seeks out feedback from students on all programs so that we can continually improve our offerings. Alaina DeLeo (Fall, 2017 and Spring, 2018) My first semester in Irkutsk, I did the Russian […]

Trip to Zhemchug from Irkutsk

Sometimes one gets the urge to travel but going far away can be expensive and time consuming. Zhemchug (Жемчуг) is the perfect place for a cheap, fun, and quick weekend getaway. Located about 3-4 hours away from Irkutsk it can be easily reached by bus or marshrytka. Zhemchug is a beautiful rural village 30 minutes […]

Trip to Arshan from Irkutsk

Arshan is a village located in the Republic of Buryatia about 3 hours away from Irkutsk. Arshan is known for many things but mainly for hiking and a source of natural spring water (минеральныйисточник). Arshan is a great idea for a weekend or a three day weekend if one gets the sudden urge to travel. […]

Trip to Krasnoyarsk from Irkutsk

Over winter break I decided to take a longer trip outside of Irkutsk – to Novosibirsk. On my way, I stopped for 3 days in Krasnoyarsk. This entry will cover just my time in Krasnoyarsk. Another will focus on Novosibirsk. Why should you go to Krasnoyarsk? It’s definitely a great stop for nature lovers. One […]

Trip to Novosibirsk from Irkutsk

After my trip to Krasnoyarsk I reached my final destination, Novosibirsk. Immediately I could see a difference in size from Irkutsk. Novosibirsk had much more of a “big city feel.” The metro, tall buildings, and sheer size (population 1.5 million) was exciting in comparison to what I’d grown used to in Irkutsk (population 600,000). There […]

Trip to Sakhyurta

One of my favorite trips so far while I’ve been abroad in Russia has been my weekend stay in Sakhyurta. Sakhyurta is a small village located directly on the shore of Lake Baikal, walking distance from the southernmost point of Olkhon Island. Because we went in the middle of winter we could walk to Olkhon […]

Skiing in Olkha (Daytrip from Irkutsk)

While there are several options for skiing within Irkutsk city limits, it is nice to take a short day trip to get a taste of the more rural nature scene. As someone who loves to ski but is by no means a professional, Olkha Ski Resort is a great option. Olkha offers several different hills […]

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 […]

Meeting Locals in Irkutsk

Getting Involved and Meeting Locals In Irkutsk A few suggestions Meeting local friends is one of the best ways to not only learn Russian, but also to feel at home in one’s host environment. The first few weeks in Irkutsk can be hard if you don’t know what to do or where to go, that’s […]

Home and Abroad with RSL in Bishkek and Irkutsk

Julie studied abroad in Bishkek and Irkutsk, learning Russian as a Second Language with SRAS’s Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. Below is her review of her programs abroad and experience as a Home and Abroad Scholar. Academic Program in Bishkek and Irkutsk Bishkek First, the basics. […]

Trip to Vladivostok from Irkutsk

Trip to Vladivostok from Irkutsk $550 for 4.5 days* Vladivostok has been top on my list of Russian cities to visit for a while now, so I was determined to get there while I was living in Irkutsk—and, to add urgency to the matter, I needed to go to an American consulate, and there’s one […]

Trip to Khabarovsk from Irkutsk

Trip to Khabarovsk from Irkutsk ~$500 for 2–3 days* This week, I took a long trip from Irkutsk. The end point was Vladivostok, but because of how expensive all the flights from Irkutsk to Vlad are, I ended up with a twelve-hour layover in Khabarovsk. However, I figured it would be nice to explore the city […]

Ulan-Ude, Weekend Trip from Irkutsk

Ulan-Ude Weekend Trip from Irkutsk Cost estimate: $125 for 2.5 days Halfway into our program in Irkutsk, both I and a friend were feeling the travel bug again and were ready for a change of scene. Ulan-Ude, the closest major city from Irkutsk, was definitely that. A few hours after my friend and I stepped out […]

Teaching English in Russia: The Complete Guide

Note that SRAS does not hire English teachers. However, many of our students, past and present, have inquired into the logistics of teaching while abroad, while as students or otherwise. We have therefore provided this resource. Demand for English teachers remains very strong in Russia. Ambitious young people who are hoping to make a career […]

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: […]

1 2