Weekend Trip to Kazan from St. Petersburg

Travel within Russia is comparatively inexpensive and, while studying in St. Petersburg, I’ve been able to see many great cities will keeping to a student budget: Sochi, Murmansk, Irkutsk, and now Kazan. Kazan is unique and now one of my favorite Russian cities. This uniqueness stems largely from the Tatar and Muslim influences in architecture […]

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Traveling to Irkutsk from St. Petersburg

Travel in Russia is extremely cheap when compared with taking domestic flights in North America. For example, where a flight from Nova Scotia to Montreal with a duration of an hour and a half would be close to $600 round trip, I made a four day trip from St. Petersburg to Irkutsk (a 9 hour […]

A Grand Tour of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg

At some point in your SRAS program in St. Petersburg, there will be a trip to the Hermitage. Sergey is the usual tour guide for this trip, and he is full of stories and inside facts that you would have never gotten if you had gone on your own. When you’re walking toward the Hermitage […]

Long Weekend Trip to Murmansk from St. Petersburg

When I arrived in Russia I knew that one thing I wanted to do was see the Northern Lights. Many Russians seemed to think that this was ironic as I am Canadian and one can see the Northern Lights in Canada’s Arctic regions as well. What Russians do not know, however, is that traveling in […]

My Summer Abroad in St. Petersburg

When I took off from Chicago at 6pm one evening at the beginning of summer, I was not entirely sure what I was in for. Flying across the globe on my own? I had never even left the country! While I wasn’t sure at that moment what my summer would entail, looking back, I can […]

Excursion: Tantsy Minus Rooftop Concert in St. Petersburg

SRAS bought us concert tickets as part of our cultural program. It was an exciting opportunity to see modern Russian popular culture. I had never been to a rock concert before, and I especially had no idea what to expect of one in Russia. Our eager guide, Alina, told us that we’d be going to […]

Udelnaya Flea Market in St. Petersburg, Russia

Six blue line stops north of Nevsky Prospect  is one of the most enjoyable and authentic experiences that I have had in Russia. Rows and rows of stalls selling clothes, antiques, jewelry, tools and everything in between. Some sellers shout about what they’re selling, while others discuss prices and make sales with shoppers. This is […]

Kunstkamera in St. Petersburg, Russia

In Saint Petersburg you could go to a museum every day for 3 months and not visit them all. There are a few that are simply must-see — some for their magnificent art and architecture, others for their historical value, but there is one in particular that everyone should visit for its sheer uniqueness. Kunstkamera […]

The Bus System in St. Petersburg, Russia

“To get there, take Minibus 287 or Bus 186 and transfer to Bus 545.” As I heard this, I almost couldn’t believe it. Just how many buses were in this city? And how could it be possible to learn to use them in just a summer? My next thought was, why even learn? I can […]

White Nights: Culture and Night Life in St. Petersburg

10:17pm sunsets and 3:30am sunrises. That was my initial description of St. Petersburg when friends and family asked how my study abroad experience is going. The 18 hours of daily sunlight that mark St. Petersburg’s “White Nights” are nature’s gift to the northern city that is Russia’s cultural capital. Though the sun sets at around […]

Study Abroad Program Review: Cuba-Russia Connection

I embarked on the Cuba-Russia Connection program offered by SRAS in May of 2018. However, this incredible program really began months before me landing in Cuba. SRAS’s communications with me and the resources they offered before the study abroad trip helped set me up for the great experience that was the Cuba-Russia Connection. SRAS emailed […]

Vaffel & Wine in Saint Petersburg

When I first walked by a heart-shaped waffle sign reading “Vaffel & Wine”, I thought that it seemed like an odd combination for a restaurant — and why was it spelled like that?  I did not end up visiting until a few weeks later when a few of us happened to be walking by and […]

Conchita Bonita Restaurant in St. Petersburg

A long list of St Pete restaurants to try out isn’t necessary when you’ve landed on the quaint restaurant known as Conchita Bonita. Located on 39 Gorokhovaya St, Conchita Bonita is a dark, modest, and welcoming Mexican restaurant thriving in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Conchita, which is the diminutive word for “shell” in Spanish, and bonita, […]

Sand Sculptures at Peter Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia

Just outside the walls of the mighty Peter Paul Fortress, on a Neva River beach, is a different kind of architectural grandeur. The Sand Sculpture Festival (Фестиваль песчаных скульптур) takes places every summer here in central St. Petersburg.   Each year has a theme; this year (2018) the theme was “World Masterpieces,” and the festival […]

Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines in St. Petersburg, Russia

Maybe you’ve heard of Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders, but what about Rally Авторалли-М), The Humpbacked Horse (Конек Горбунок), and Torpedo Attack (Торпед Атака)?  While Americans were shoving quarters into arcade machines to play game after game, those in the Soviet Union were dropping in 15 kopecks in just the same way. A few […]

Bushe, Cafe in St. Petersburg, Russia

On my first day in Saint Petersburg someone took me to a cafe. At that point, I didn’t know the name of the cafe, how I got there, or how to get back to the University — but the cafe was an inviting place. The decor was simple: wooden tables and chairs, plain white walls, […]

Five Great Burger Places in St. Petersburg, Russia 

When studying abroad in any country, it’s completely normal to go through periods of culture shock and homesickness. Every student will discover their own ways to fight this, whether it be through watching a favorite movie or calling a friend or family member. Personally, whenever I find myself missing home, I typically go on a […]

Koreana Restaurant in St. Petersburg

During one of my many afternoons of wandering around the city and exploring the streets of St. Petersburg, I stumbled across the Koreana Restaurant. Having never tried Korean food before, I texted one of my fellow classmates who was familiar with the cuisine and invited her along with me. She mentioned that she’d heard fabulous […]

Boat Tour Around St. Petersburg – My Farewell to the City

As the spring semester was winding down in St. Petersburg, my fellow classmates and I all wanted to have one last stroll around the city. Luckily for us, SRAS had another idea in mind: a boat tour! Our local coordinator informed us that we’d have an hour tour that would take us around the canals […]

Adapting to the Class Schedule in St. Petersburg

Be Sure to Bring Your Coffee! Students should abroad expecting entirely new experiences. This includes new experiences in how university-level classes are scheduled, a process that is different in both Ukraine and Russia from what most students are used to in the United States. While abroad in Kyiv, Ukraine (PCON Program) and St. Petersburg, Russia […]

Mamalyga Georgian Restaurant in St. Petersburg

Of all the different types of cuisines and national foods that I’ve tried throughout my time studying abroad, it’s safe to say that Georgian food is hands down my favorite. Having traveled to Georgia and tried the national dishes as made there, I find myself constantly searching for a restaurant in St. Petersburg that can […]

Soulmate Cat Cafe in St. Petersburg

Coffee and cats – what could be better? One thing that many students studying abroad have in common is the yearning to see their beloved pets again. Not all students are ready to return home, but many of them simply miss their pets and are in dire need of some animal cuddling. Luckily for my […]

Four Day Trip to Moscow from St. Petersburg

When I told my family that I would be studying abroad in Russia, they all seemed to ask me the similar question of would I get to see the Kremlin, Red Square, or St. Basil’s Cathedral. I always found these inquiries to be comical because all three of these are located in Moscow, yet I […]

Weekend Trip to Helsinki, Finland from St. Petersburg

While studying abroad in St. Petersburg, I’ve had the opportunity to travel quite a bit, both within Russia and internationally. There are a handful of countries that are surprisingly easy and cost-friendly to travel to from St. Petersburg. The most popular weekend destinations for students are the neighboring states of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland. […]

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 […]

Learning Through a Passport: The Undeniable Importance of Travel

“Travel is the most intense mode of learning”- Kevin Kelly, executive editor of Wired magazine   Eight months ago, my year of studying abroad began. I arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia as part of the Policy and Conflict in the Post-Soviet Space (PCON) program. Over the course of the following fall semester, I travelled all across […]

Intelligent Flea Market in St. Petersburg, Russia

Where the Affordable Meets the Trendy As an avid window-shopper and a habitual bargainer, it’s understandable why flea markets hold a special place in my heart. I can confidently say that I have never turned down going to any kind of flea market, even if it has landed me in some unimpressive places. For the […]

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 […]

Suliko – Georigan in St. Petersburg

Suliko Restaurant / Ресторан “Сулико” Казанская 6 Daily 10:00-24:00 Meals from 500 rubles Sulikospb.ru If there’s one non-Russian national cuisine that you should sample while in Russia, it is Georgian. Even Pushkin, who claimed that “каждое грузинское блюдо – это поэма” (“every Georgian dish is a poem”), would agree. And once you’ve tried it, good […]

Remembrance of WWII in St. Petersburg

Throughout my program in Russia these past few months, the toll of the Second World War, has often been present and palpable. During World War II and the Great Fatherland War, the name Russians give the part of the war that took part on Soviet land, approximately 20-30 million Soviet men and women perished. Some […]

WAVE Burgers in St. Petersburg

With a few months in St. Petersburg now under my belt, I’ve had a lot of opportunity to try new local and regional food. I’ve also built up a short list of favorite restaurants for most cravings that I get as an American for more familiar grub. Alas, I had been unable to find a […]

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: […]

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