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 […]

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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 […]

Suzdal / Суздаль

On a mid-October weekend trip, my MSU dormitory roommate, Ellie and I visited the famous Golden Ring (Золотое кольцо) city of Suzdal. Suzdal is located on the edge of the Kamenka River (река Каменка) in the Vladimir Region (Владимирская область) approximately 25 kilometers (about 15.5 miles) north of Vladimir and 200 kilometers (about 124 miles) […]

Vladimir / Владимир

Several weeks ago my English roommate, Eleanor (Ellie) and I traveled together from Moscow to Vladimir. We bought tickets for and boarded a Moscow-Vladimir express train at Kursky Station (Курский вокзал) on a Friday afternoon and left on a weekend adventure. We planned to stay in Vladimir, to tour both it and Suzdal, and to […]

Abramtsevo Artists’ Museum-Reserve

Abramtsevo Artists’ Museum-Reserve Day Trip from Moscow с. Абрамцево, ул. Музейная, д. 1 Hours of Operation: 10:00-17:30 (Summer Schedule), 10:00-15:30 (Winter Schedule), Wednesday-Sunday except the last Thursday of every month Cost: Full Price (adults, all exhibits) 1,295 rubles; Special Price (students and pensioners, all exhibits) 800 rubles; Free for other designated groups; Photos and videos in […]

International Relations Internship in Moscow: PIR Center

I am currently serving an internship in Moscow at the PIR Center for International Studies Autonomous Non-for-Profit Organization (Автономная некоммерческая организации «Научный центр международных исследований «ПИР»). This independent non-governmental organization was founded in 1994 and serves as a major research engine and source of publications on nuclear nonproliferation, conventional arms control, foreign policy and international […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

10 Differences Between Moscow and Saint Petersburg

“Moscow is the heart, and Saint Petersburg is the head” -This Russian saying was popularized in the time of Peter the Great and references Moscow’s place as the central upholder of Russian traditions while Saint Petersburg looks west into the social and scientific developments of the future. Is it still applicable today? – You decide. […]

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 […]

Christine Jacobson: Russia, Kyrgyzstan, the US, and Back Again

Christine Jacobson graduated from Stetson University in Florida with degrees in political science and Russian studies. She studied with SRAS on a custom program in St. Petersburg in 2011. She currently lives and works in Moscow, but is hoping to attend graduate school in the fall of 2014. SRAS: You worked for a year as […]

Christopher Brennan: Online News from Russia

Christopher Brennan is an Associate Editor with The Moscow Times and runs that publication’s website and Facebook feed. He formerly served an SRAS-arranged journalism internship there over the summer of 2012 while studying Russian at MGU. He is a recent graduate of Columbia University with degrees in Political Science and Russian Literature and Culture. SRAS: You are currently an Associate […]

Minority Experience in Moscow

Minorities Abroad Project Destination: Moscow & St. Petersburg, Russia Time Abroad: Periodically from 2006-2010 Ethnic Self-identification: Southeast Asian-American Gender: Male (Anonymous Post) I visited Russia periodically from 2006-2010 (mostly Moscow and once St. Petersburg). Before traveling to Moscow, I had heard about the dangers of the city. Like any large city, Moscow can occasionally be […]

Miriam in Moscow

Minorities Abroad Project Name: Miriam Vaswani Destination: Moscow, Russia Time Abroad: 2009-2011 Ethnic Self-identification: Mixed heritage When I initially spoke on the phone with the person who would become my first employer in Moscow, he asked me if I looked distinctively Indian (I’m a first generation Canadian, with one English and one Indian parent). It […]

Culture Shock: Living with other international students

Most of us probably knew we were in for inevitable culture shock when we arrived in Russia, no matter how much we had convinced ourselves we were prepared. Sometimes it comes on quick, but other times culture shock reveals itself incredibly slowly. It took longer for this to sink in, but one of the ways […]

Elizabeth Bagot: From Intern to Professional in Russia

Elizabeth Bagot holds a BA from Stanford University in International Relations with a minor in Russian Studies. After graduation, she enrolled for a full year of Russian as a Second Language through SRAS to improve her language skills. She also served an NGO internship and business internship while abroad – which helped lead her to […]

NASA in Russia: Science Degrees and Careers in Russia

Mark Bowman is the Manager of Moscow Technical Liaison Office (MTLO), the Deputy Director of the Human Space Flight Program-Russia (HSFP-R), in addition to serving as an attache with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. He combined an education in science with a passion for learning about other cultures and languages. SRAS: For those who are complete laymen […]

Bradley Gorski: Study Abroad as a Two-Way Street

Bradley Gorski holds a degree in Russian from Georgetown University. Since graduation he has been living in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia, working as the Russia Country Coordinator for EducationUSA. He plans to apply for Ph.D. programs in Slavic Studies to start fall 2011. His research interests are Nabokov, post-Soviet literature and the interplay between linguistics […]

Stephanie Briggs: To Russia with a Very Big Stick

Stephanie Briggs is a disabled student with hydrocephalus and mild cerebral palsy. These conditions reduce her mobility and are a source of chronic pain. Despite this, she has completed a BA in Russian Studies and is now perusing a MA in Translation. She also travelled to and toured Russia in 2003. SRAS: Despite your guide books […]

Renee Stillings: SRAS Program Director, Business Woman, Mother

Renee Stillings has been the Program Director for SRAS since 1996. She is also a co-founder of Alinga Consulting Group and a board member of the US-Russia Chamber of Commerce of New England.  All pictures (and captions) submitted by Renee Stillings. SRAS: When did you first become interested in Russia? Renee Stillings: In high school. I was already taking all […]

Max Yacoub: Racism and Work in Russia and Ukraine

Max Yacoub was born to a Russian mother and a Sudanese father but raised mostly in Sudan and England. Most of his professional life has been spent in Russia and Ukraine working with the World Bank and over the last few years in finance and investments. He is married, living in Moscow and raising a […]

Interview with Chet Bowling: Business and Racism in Russia

Chet Bowling holds an MA in Law from the Russian People’s Friendship University in Russia and an MBA from Kingston University in the United Kingdom. He co-founded Alinga Consulting Group, a business providing accounting, legal, and audit services mostly to foreign firms. He has lived in Russia for nearly nineteen years, where he is now married […]

David Diamonon: Railroads and Lacrosse in Russia

David Diamonon is Deputy General Director for Transolutions CIS, an American-owned company controlled by Amsted Rail that is focused on supplying rail equipment to the former Soviet states. Ethnically Filipino, he graduated with a degree in Russian from Middlebury College and went on to live and work in Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. Here, he discusses his experiences […]

Tabitha Smith: Practical Pulsars

Tabitha Smith completed a customized Russian as a Second Language (RSL) program with The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) during the summer of 2009. The program combined a month of RSL in St. Petersburg, Russia, with visa and travel services to support a month of independently-arranged scientific research in Pushchino, Russia. Contact SRAS for more info on […]

Julia Vail: Reporting on Russia

Julia Vail studied with The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) under the Russian as a Profession program (now part of the Russian Studies Abroad program), combining language and subject study with a hands-on internship in Moscow. She has used this experience to help land a full-time career in journalism and publishing. SRAS: When did you first become […]

Interview with Devin Connolly: War & Peace & Tourism

Devin Connolly participated in SRAS’s Russian as a Second Language program in St. Petersburg over the summer of 2004. She has since turned her love of language and traveling into a career with MIR, a specialty US-based tourism company that leads curious tourists through destinations spanning Ukraine, Iran, Russia, and Mongolia. SRAS: How did your interest in Russia and […]

Michele Whaley: Teaching Russian in Alaska Schools

Michele Whaley is a high school Russian teacher in Anchorage, Alaska. She recently took some time to tell us of her personal travels to Russia and the USSR, the many paths her students have taken with their Russian after graduation and what it takes to be a good teacher. SRAS: How did you get into teaching? […]

Katherine Avgerinos: Leveraging Study and Work Abroad

Katherine Avgerinos is enrolled in the International Relations Program at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. She was accepted to this program, at least in part, on the basis of her international experience in Russia and Greece and the professional experience she built while in Russia. She recently sat down to tell us about those experiences. SRAS: We […]

Greg Michael: From Russia to Mars

Greg Michael originally graduated with degrees in Philosophy, Physics, and Computation from the University of Oxford. He went on to get a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Moscow State University and to find a wide and interesting array of professional and educational opportunities in Eastern Europe and Russia including working as an English teacher in Chisinau, a Style […]

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