Kok-Tobe, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Kok-Tobe (Көк-Төбе) Almaty, Kazakhstan My time spent in Kazakhstan was brief, only two or three days, but in those brief moments I spent in Almaty, I lived true. In that time I had dinner and...

Anti-cafe in Vladivostok

Антикафе “Отдел Культуры” // Department of Culture Anti-Cafe Светланская ул., д.5 // 5 Svetlanskaya Street Monday 6:00pm-12:00am Tuesday 12:00pm-4:00am Wednesday 12:00pm-12:00am Thursday 12:00pm-12:00am Friday 12:00pm-4:00am Saturday 10:00am-4:00am Sunday 10:00am-12:00am Coolest Hangout Spot in Vladivostok anti-cafe.org...

Weak in Language Acquisition? Don’t Worry!

Salutations reader! My name is Ian (Yan in Russia) and I’m currently studying Russian as a Second Language and Far Eastern Studies at Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service. I’m naturally weak in language...

4 Months in Voronezh

Drew Allmon is  a senior Mathematics/Russian double major at Baylor University. He has just returned from a 4-month study abroad experience in Voronezh, for which he kept an extensive blog. He would like to share...

TORFL Exam Experiences in Kyiv

Test of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL) Exam Experiences in Kyiv www.sras.org/torfl While in Kiev this summer, I took advantage of the opportunity to take the TORFL exam as part of my Russian language courses...

Returning Home after Five Months in St. Petersburg

As part of its September issue, the Russian edition of Esquire magazine turned its focus from celebrities to “ordinary people,” including Vasily Ilyn, a retired farmer from a village in rural Russia. The issue includes...

An Oral Account of Yurt Making in Kyzyl-Too, Kyrgyzstan

Text By: Gabrielle Randall, SRAS Graduate Russian as a Second Language, Bishkek, Fall 2012 NGO, Cultural Internship, Bishkek, Spring 2013 Information Translated By: Gabrielle Randall; Nurzat Beishembaeyva; and Elnura Kairbekova Pictures Taken By: Gabrielle Randall;...

The Trouble with English

Before heading to St. Petersburg, SRAS coordinator, April Djakoniya, asked each of us to write down any volunteer opportunities we wanted to pursue. When studying Russian in America, one of the most helpful resources for...

Traveling Platzkart on Ukrainian Trains

Mention train travel in the former Soviet Union, and almost inevitably the discussion will at some point turn to the infamous “platzkart,” or third-class wagons. For those Westerners who have never traveled platzkart, the concept...

Buying Eyeglasses in Bishkek

Ossé Optical Shop Address: Toktogula 86 (corner of Toktogula and Sovietskaya) Phone: +996-312-662-763 Today I have become four-eyed. I bought eyeglasses in Bishkek. It was on my list of things to do before heading home...

Renting Bikes near MSU in Moscow

Крути педали/Kruti Pedali Москва, Университетский проспект, д. 6, корп. 1. Телефон: +7 (495) 642-19-42 Электронная почта: info@kruti-pedali.ru Prices for rental start at $5 for the first hour Hours (May to September): Weekdays – 16:00 to...

Museum of the Strategic Rocket Forces in Pervomaysk

Museum of the Strategic Rocket Forces/ Музей Ракетных Войск Стратегического Назначения 10:00 to 17:00 daily 1025 hryvnias for full excursion through NovaMova (included in SRAS programs) www.rvsn.com.ua Sitting peacefully amidst the sunflower fields and apricot...

Home Sweet Homestay

For most students looking to study abroad, one of the biggest questions they face is whether to pay the extra money for a homestay, or just live in the dorms, which for SRAS programs, are covered in...

Keeping the Faith (Catholicism) in Kyiv

For some, traveling abroad can be as much a spiritual journey as a physical one, and tourists are often encouraged to visit religious relics and places of worship for their history, culture, and architecture. For...

Kyiv Metro

Kyiv Metro / Київський метрополітен (or Київське метро) Opens daily between 5:30am and 6:00am (depending on the station) Closes daily at midnight Fares: 2грн ($0.25) per trip Unlimited half- or whole-month plans available: half-month: 48...

Mayakovskaya Library in St. Petersburg

The Central City Public Library named after V. V. Mayakovsky / Центральная городская публичная библиотека им. В. В. Маяковского Реки Фонтанка 46, Metro Маяковская Open: Monday-Saturday, 11am-7pm www.pl.spb.ru  Literature and culture have a very strong...

A Weekend at the Dacha

During my Russian studies at Indiana University over the past two years, the concept of a “dacha” or Soviet-era summer home always intrigued me. While my family has taken multiple vacations during which we stayed...

Varenichnaya Katusha Restaurant in Kyiv

Вареничная Катюша ул. Червоноармійська, 60 (Chervonoarmiis’ka Street, 60), Kиев 9:00 to 23:00 Meals from $10 www.katysha.com.ua “Вареничная Катюша” is a self-described “chain of restaurants in the Soviet style” in Kyiv, according to the official restaurant...

TEDxKyiv Conference: Ideas Worth Spreading

TEDxKyiv: (Ukrainian) Ideas Worth Spreading Annual Event http://tedxkyiv.com/ Over the last few years, the TED organization has become increasingly popular and influential through its various talks, conferences, and awards. Started in 1984 to promote “Ideas...

History & Myths of Moscow State University

The following was originally written in Russian by amateur historian Igor Aksyuta and published on LiveJournal. It went viral on the Russian Internet for some time. It has here been translated by SRAS Home and...

Acclimating to Life in Kyiv, Ukraine

Today marks my third day in Kyiv, where I will spend the next couple of months studying Russian language at the NovaMova International Language School and interning at the Institute of World Policy.  Two of...

Who are You in Kyrgyzstan

The latest online video to have gone viral is “What Kind of Asian Are You?”, a comedy sketch co-directed by David Neptune and Ken Tanaka for YouTube’s Comedy Week extravaganza, a program that features live...

Biblioteka Restaurant Project in St. Petersburg

Biblioteka 20 Nevsky Prospekt (Metro Nevsky Prospekt) Open daily 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Meals from 230 rubles The future of St. Petersburg is looking pretty ambitious. Just look at “projects” like Etagi, Stirka, and...

Interview with Patriotic Music Professor in Bishkek

If you want to better understand a country’s government, study its culture. (Если хочешь ближе узнать историю государства, изучай его культурe.) In that spirit, I sat down with one of Kyrgyzstan’s top experts on the...

Banya in Bishkek

Zhirgal Banya Hours of Operation: Mon, Tues, Thurs: 9am-11pm, Wed: 12pm-11pm, Fri: 7am-11pm, Sat, Sun: 7am-11pm Address: Corner of Ibraimov and Toktogul Price: Adults: 250 Som, Kids (1-12 years old): 150 Som Desperate times call...

Chechen Journalist Calls Kyrgyzstan Her “Homeland”

Chechen Journalist Kamila Zhabrailova Talks about the Chechen-Kyrgyz Experience In Bishkek this past week, Chechen journalist Kamila Zhabrailova talked to SRAS students about the history and culture of Chechnya, the Chechen disapora in Kyrgyzstan, and...

Up Close and Personal with a Manaschi

A Performance and Interview with Nazarkyl Seydrakmanov This past week, SRAS students met with one of Kyrgyzstan’s most famous manaschis, Nazarkyl Seydrakmanov. Manaschis are Kyrgyz professional storytellers of the Manas epic poem, the longest epic...

Ideas of What’s Rude and Polite in Russia

If you’re like me, you tried to prepare for life in a foreign country by researching important ways the new culture differs from your home culture. While research can shed light on some of the...

VSUES Maslenitsa in Vladivostok

Maslenitsa at VSUES/Масленица во ВГУЕСе Ул. Гоголя, д. 41 (VSUES dorms) Dates change each year Free and open to VSUES students, faculty and staff If you happen to be in Russia during the spring, one...

Shoko Mokko Café in St. Petersburg

Кафеинниа <<Шоко Мокко>> / Shokko Mokko Café Open 24 hours, daily 6 Ploshad Tryda and citywide Internet and coffee – even during study abroad, many students find themselves in a constant search for this all-important...