Russian MiniLessons: How to Address Strangers in Russian

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 […]

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International Airfare (to and from Russia)

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 […]

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 (+what to do with your laptop, cell phone, etc.)

A semester or year stay abroad requires considerable planning. If you will be spending winter months in most SRAS locations, luggage can quite easily become unwieldy, which can mean airline charges for overweight bags. Planning what you need in advance can help you avoid this (and help you avoid forgetting something important). Invest in good, […]

Program Review of Economic Development in the Russian Far East: Vladivostok

My time in Vladivostok has been memorable. There were extreme positives and extreme negatives for me while living in the Far East and here is my overall review of the semester. Courses The SRAS program I took, Economic Development in the Russian Far East, combines language study with the study of the economics and geopolitics […]

SRAS Guide to Living in Vladivostok

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 […]

Three Borders Excursion from Vladivostok

One of the most interesting excursions we’ve taken for my program in Economic Development in the Russian Far East, offered at VGUES in partnership with SRAS, was to the Three Borders Zone (“Три границы” in Russian) so named because this is where the borders between Russia, China, and North Korea come together. Because the course […]

Vladivostok: Student Budgets and Logistics

Students in Vladivostok report spending about $60-90 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, modest weekend entertainment, and other general living expenses. Note that this guide assumes 65 rubles = 1 US dollar. Prices current as of […]

First Week in Vladivostok

Traveling abroad to an unfamiliar region can be scary. When logistical problems outside of your control happen it is easy for fear and panic to set in. Here is a breakdown of my first week in Vladivostok: both the positives and the negatives. Hopefully, my experience will give any future travelers to Vladivostok an idea […]

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 […]

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 – […]

Five Best Coffee Shops in Vladivostok

Vladivostok is known for being a European city in the heart of Asia. It also offers some pretty decent coffee at a number of modern coffee shops. After a month of exploring the city and trying different cafes, here is my list of the five best coffee shops in Vladivostok. Кафема (Cafema) Located in the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Volleyball at VSUES in Vladivostok

Each Saturday and Sunday evening at the VSUES gym, students gather to play volleyball. The practice is free and open to all students. On both evenings, practice begins around 7:00 pm. While the practice is open to all students, the core members and attendees of this gathering are the BlackHawks. The BlackHawks are unaffiliated officially […]

International Student Festival in Vladivostok

International Student Festival in Vladivostok On Campus at VGUES Cost: Free Last week, Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service hosted an International Student Festival to showcase the wide diversity of students who live and study in Vladivostok. The theme of the festival was “Я учусь в России,” or “I study in Russia.” The festival […]

A Trip to Khabarovsk from Vladivostok

Trip to Khabarovsk from Vladivostok One Weekend Budget: ~5000 rubles Russia celebrates March 8th, along with many other countries around the world, as International Women’s Day. The holiday is a big deal here. This is evident from all the obscure 24-hour flower shops flinging their doors open wide and preparing for the inevitable inrush of […]

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 […]

Karaoke at The Underground

When one of my friends first asked me about singing karaoke, I was a bit hesitant. It’s not something in my normal realm of preferred activities, but I didn’t have any other plans for the evening. So in the interest of trying new things, I acquiesced. The space we used is nestled in a corner […]

The Dormitories in Vladivostok

As promised, here comes the second installment of my University Life series. This time I am going to focus on what life is like in the dorms. Home sweet home. The dormitories are connected to the main university buildings by way of an escalator. This is quite nice in the winter when you don’t have to […]

Vladivostok Ice Run

Vladivostok Ice Run Organized by RunDNSRun Most club runs cost 0-1000 rubles to join The first annual Vladivostok Ice Run took place this weekend on February 21, 2016. A friend of mine, a volunteer organizer of the race, told me about the event two weeks ago. Although most of my exercise has been limited to […]

University Life at VSUES, Vladivostok

At VSUES, my classes and coursework differ from my experience at my American university. Classes The first major difference is the length of a class sessions. Every class in Russia lasts 1:30. In the US, my classes were either 50 minutes or 1:15. It takes a little more focus to get through the longer classes, […]

Icy Pastimes in Vladivostok

After a nice winter break and going home for the holidays, I have arrived back in Vladivostok. Unfortunately, I missed the big snowstorm here by a week or so, but there is still plenty of snow in heaps around the city and it is still quite cold here. Coming from a warmer climate like the American […]

Travel Film Festival in Vladivostok

Travel Film Festival: Я Шагаю По Земле Shown at Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok One of my hobbies has long been spending time in the outdoors. I love almost everything involving mountains, hills, forests, or trails. One of my friends from Vladivostok who also shares these interests invited me to a film festival […]

Couch Surfing Community in Vladivostok

Couch Surfing Networking Events Various Locations, Costs While the university is a great place to meet people, and I have no doubt that I’ll continue to make new friends here, it does have the sense of an isolated community. Universities tend to be their own small worlds, able to let students function independently from 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 […]

Primorskiy Safari Park – Day Trip from Vladivostok

Primorskiy Safari Park Near Shkotovo (Outside Vladivostok0k) Admission: 600ru Safaripark25.ru This weekend, we got to make another excursion outside of Vladivostok. This time was not for hiking, however, but to see some of Primorsky Krai’s famed wildlife at the Safari Park. As part of a university sponsored trip, we took a chartered a bus from […]

Hiking Excursion to Falaza Mountain from Vladivostok

Falaza Mountain ~3 hours from Vladivostok Hiking and Nature Free Admission Fall has arrived in Vladivostok. The temperatures have begun to dip well into chilly territory, and the leaves are turning their bright hues. But inside the city doesn’t offer too much in the way of seeing fall beauty, so I had to get out […]

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 […]

Vladivostok: A Guide to Hiking and Beaches

If there is one thing I will regret about having spent an academic year in Vladivostok, it will be not spending an entire calendar year here. The winter truly does have a beauty unto its own as the ocean freezes and unfolds a new landscape unto the pedestrian explorer. On the other hand, being the […]

Local Travel – Getting out of Vladivostok

One of my favorite sensations as a traveler is finding myself in an unknown area with a wide-open schedule. Those with a sense of wanderlust can find plenty of opportunities to feed it while in Vladivostok. I have recently been making the effort to get out of the city center and see what the smaller […]

The Kitchen in Vladivostok

Kitchen ул. Пограничная 12 Hours; Noon-Midnight (Sun.-Thurs.), Noon-2am (Fri & Sat.); Meals from 500 rubles ($10); 10% off menu prices Noon-5pm everyday Izbrasserie.ru Hailing from the fairly humble stylistic environs of my Kentucky hometown, acclimating to the fashion norms of the international port of Vladivostok has been anything but an overnight affair. The high life […]

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