Students Abroad is a site which SRAS runs for its students to personally share their adventures and discoveries while studying abroad in Eurasia. We are also using it as a platform to discuss elements of contemporary culture that students often have questions about (such as why the Metro doors are so heavy or why Russians shout “gorko!” at weddings). We hope that this will have positive effects on our programs and students’ experience while abroad.
We hope that over time this will create a sort of shared memory and social consciousness for our programs. This will include practical information about where to eat and hang out, how to deal with culture shock and make friends, where to find volunteer and find resume-building experiences, and more. This will also allow students to learn from the efforts of past students, opening the conversations of the past to the students of the future.
Students Abroad also hopes to assist students with the challenge of being abroad in Eurasia for an extended period. This region of the world is completely foreign to most Western students, and the effects of culture shock are felt more here than in more traditional study abroad locations. There are more challenges in terms of the difficulty of the language and the pronounced differences in culture and mindset. However, this means that the opportunity for personal growth in Eurasia is substantially greater than that in more traditional study abroad locations. As students overcome these challenges, they grow more creative and confident – and come to better understand the local people, society, economy, and other subjects. Students Abroad will allow students to show those contemplating study abroad here what they will be getting themselves into – and why they should get themselves into it.
The School of Russian and Asian Studies has begun and maintains Students Abroad for the benefit of its students and all those interested in Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and other Eurasian locations. Join us for challenge and adventure abroad!