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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

16 Ways Studying Abroad is Just Like Harry Potter

Did you ever stop to think about the fact that, technically, Harry Potter was also studying abroad? Here are 16 ways that Harry’s adventures are likely to be just like yours.   1. When you first decide you’re going abroad, you’re in a state of shock- you can hardly believe it’s real! 2. Getting on […]

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 […]

15 Signs You Studied Abroad in Russia

Everyone knows the signs of a post-study abroad collegiate: constantly comparing everything to your study abroad city, using every conversation as an excuse to talk about your lifechanging experience, compulsively scanning the web for cheap plane tickets hoping that someday you’ll have enough money to relive the glory days that were study abroad. If you […]

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 […]

7 Ways Study Abroad is a Second Childhood

After settling in with a host family in Ukraine, I’ve looked back on my notes from my first couple of weeks abroad and come to a realization – in a lot of ways, Abroad-Olivia is a child, just a little bit bigger. I’ve compiled these notes to make a list of seven reasons why living […]

6 Biggest Culture Shocks in Russia

Moving to a different country is hard. You will probably experience culture shock and will definitely have your ups and downs. Here’s a list of challenges you can expect to run into while you adjust to Russia. 1. Language This is a no-brainer, but I couldn’t leave it off the list! I strongly advise learning […]

Adventures in Red-tape Land: Applying for Temporary Residency in Russia

A week ago I made the best decision of my life and married a guy whose zest for life, enduring optimism, and open-mindedness completely won me over during the course of our courtship . Said guy also happen to be Russian, which as anyone involved in an international relationship know, complicates things from a legal […]

12 Russian Brands You Should Buy

Greetings dear readers! As this is an opinion piece, you should first know who I am: an American who finds marketing and pop culture fascinating and who has lived in Russia for more than 10 years. What follows is a list of a few local Russian brands that I’ve personally come to prefer over western […]

Travel to Mongolia: from Irkutsk and the rest of Russia

For most Westerners, the name Mongolia conjures up the idea of a mysterious Asian country which they know little to nothing about. Most Americans are aware, if anything, of Genghis Khan, and perhaps have heard stories of Mongolian throat singing or seen National Geographic videos of the great Gobi Desert. It is likely due to […]

ABC Language School in Irkutsk

ABC School of Languages / Языковая Школа “Эй-Би-Си” ул. Рабочая, 2А, 5 этаж 8:00 – 20:00 http://abc-irk.ru/ Phone: 780-160 As a native English speaker abroad, many students studying in Russia find their skills to be in high demand and take side jobs teaching and tutoring English. Teaching offers a chance to make money while abroad […]

Volzhskii Rynok in Irkutsk

Volzhskii Rynok / Волжский Рынок Волжская 14 0800-1900 Contrary to the expectations of most travelers, Irkutsk is not a cheap city. While cheaper than Moscow, most products in Irkutsk are no cheaper than they would be in the United States. For this reason, if you are here for a long time you’ll try to find […]

Cafe Dali in Irkutsk

Cafe Dali / Кафе Дали Трудовая 108Б 09:00 – 00:00 Irkutsk is a mere 100 miles from Mongolia, yet due to the difficulties of the international border and the Sayan mountains which come between the two, it can be difficult to check out that country of Yurt-dwellers and horse milk. For those who can’t take […]

Kafe na Volzhskoi in Irkutsk

Kafe na Volzhskoi / Кафе на Волжской Байкальская 125 Weekdays 900-2000, Sunday 900-1900 A stolovaya, or cafeteria, is always an excellent place to look for cheap food, and Irkutsk is home to a wide range of stolovayas with widely varying quality. Most students will quickly become familiar with the cafeteria at IGLU, but if you’re […]

IGU Botanical Garden in Irkutsk

IGU Botanical Garden / Ботанический сад, ИГУ Ул. Кольцова 93 9:00 — 18:00 Irkutsk is better known for its Siberian taiga than for tropical flora, and in the dead of winter it can feel particularly gray and lifeless. However, it’s a well-kept secret that there’s always one place you can go if you’re pining for […]

Bar Acabama in Irkutsk

Bar Acabama / Бар Акабама Ул. Чехова 2 18:00 – 6:00 It’s no secret that a lot of Russians like all things tacky, flashy, and over-the-top, yet for anyone who has not yet been convinced of this salient fact, a quick trip to Bar Acabama will quickly make them understand. An American-themed bar, restaurant, and […]

Matt Robertson: From Russian History to Environment

Matt Robertson is the Programs Director at Tahoe Baikal Institute (TBI), an NGO that connects two of the world’s unique lake ecosystems and, in doing so, promotes Russian-American cultural awareness as well as international cooperation, sustainable development, environmental policy, and peace. He previously studied abroad with SRAS’s Russian as a Second Language program in Moscow and later with TBI’s SEE […]

Tengeri Shaman Center in Irkutsk

“Tengeri” Local Religious Organization of Shamans / «Тэнгэри» Местная Религиозная Организация Шаманов Ул. Седова 68 Hours by appointment Telephone: 99-81-54, 8-952-622-9185, Email: baltaev_va@mail.ru Shamanism is the common name for the traditional religions of a number of native Siberian peoples; the word describes a system of beliefs in which a large number of spirits, gods, and […]

Chaikhana in Irkutsk

Chaikhana / Чайхана Байкальская 14/1 1000 – 1700 A chaikhana is a traditional Uzbek restaurant, and while Central Asian food is widely available throughout Russia, a lot of it is quite bad. Chaikhana, located near the central market, is cheap, convenient, and also quite an interesting dining experience. It is also, as many chaikhanas are, […]

Great Baikal Trail Weekly Meetings in Irkutsk

Great Baikal Trail Weekly Meeting / Болшая Байкальская Тропа, еженедельная встреча Лапина 43В Thursdays 18:30-20:00 www.greatbaikaltrail.org The Great Baikal Trail is one of the most successful NGOs in Russia; founded only 10 years ago in 2002, GBT has succeeded in building and cataloging hundreds of kilometers of trails all around the Baikal region using the […]

Cafe “Belaya Vorona” in Irkutsk

Cafe “Belaya Vorona” / Кафе Белая Ворона Ул. Карла Маркса 37 0900 – 2200 8 (3952) 400-854, http://vk.com/coffeenbook, www.facebook.com/coffeenbook  Siberia isn’t a place one goes to for good coffee. However, for a city of its size, Irkutsk is actually reasonably well served in terms of coffee shops, and there are a number of places where one […]

Cafe Osh in Irkutsk

Cafe Osh / Кафе Ош Ул. Чехова 22 Hours: 10:00-20:00 The central market is probably one of the most interesting areas in Irkutsk. A huge area with many different trading squares, malls, and open air plazas, the market has traders from all over Asia selling items ranging from apples to cashmere socks to industrial machinery. […]

IGLU Youth Theater Group “Experiment” in Irkutsk

IGLU Youth Theater Group “Experiment” / ИГЛУ Молодёжный Театр «Эксперимент» Актовый зал, ИГЛУ Thursdays 6:30-9:00 As Shakespeare said, all the world’s a stage, and it seems that this maxim applies even to Siberia. Indeed, Irkutsk is quite well serviced as far as theater goes: with the musical theater, A.V. Vampilov Theater, puppet theater, and youth theater, […]

Cafe Izbushka in Irkutsk

Cafe Izbushka / Кафе Избушка Ул. Красного Восстания 9а Hours: 8:30 – 0:00 Phone: 8-3952-48-58-21 Website: www.izba38.ru The buffet is a fairly ubiquitous feature of restaurants in Russia. Often, a buffet is a clear sign that the food you are about to consume will be cheap, yet boring, lukewarm and tasteless. Cafe Izbushka is a […]

Lingua Cafe at Cafe Most’ in Irkutsk

Lingua Cafe at Cafe “Most’” / Кафе Мость Цесовская Набережная 2 Thursdays 20:00 – ???? Entrance free, drinks from ~$3. Phone: 706-388, Website: www.most-cafe.ru Irkutsk isn’t a city which is known for its nightlife; there are very few clubs and bars and those that exist are generally the kind of tacky, overpriced places filled with […]

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