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...

Shopping and Miscommunication in St. Petersburg

My first two days in Russia were spent rationing the granola bars, dried fruit, and airplane pretzel packets I had brought with me in my carry-on bag. This was despite the fact that I have...

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...

Mad for Manas in Talas

Manas Ordo Address: 10km east of Talas, at the foot of the Manastyn-Chokusu Mountain, on the bank of the Kenkol mountain river Price: Adults – 20 som; Children – 5 som, Guided Tour – 300...

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...

Birthday Parties in Vladivostok

The Golden Century/Золотой Век (or anywhere there are banquets!) Ул. Кирова, д. 60 10 am – 12 am Daily Free (paid for by celebrant)! Besides the New Year, Victory Day and perhaps the 8th of...

Tengeri Shaman Center in Irkutsk

“Tengeri” Local Religious Organization of Shamans / «Тэнгэри» Местная Религиозная Организация Шаманов Ул. Седова 68 Hours by appointment Telephone: 99-81-54, 8-952-622-9185, Email: baltaev_va@mail.ru Shamanism is the common name for the traditional religions of a number...

“Culture Fatigue” in Vladivostok

Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine contain cultures and languages very different from those most Americans are used to. SRAS believes that this makes these countries especially good locations for study abroad – it forces one to...

New Year’s at Club BSB in Vladivostok

Club BSB Пр.Красного Знамени, 66 Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Sunday 9:00 pm – 5:00 am Cafe Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Entrance Fee: 500 rubles Table Reservation: 1000...

Maslenitsa in Irkutsk

Maslenitsa/Mасленица Entry: 150 rubles general admission, 100 rubles for students (Additional cost for food, souvenirs and some activities inside) Transportation: 100 rubles for a marshrutka from Irkutsk to Listvyanka (Taltsy is a stop about ¾...

Russian Election Protests: Irkutsk

Russian Election Protests  A view from Irkutsk  For several weeks up to the elections for State Duma, flyers and newsletters were handed out throughout Irkutsk by representatives from many different parties, primarily A Just Russia,...

Multi-cultural Schools in St. Petersburg

The number of children from different countries is increasing in St. Petersburg’s multi-cultural classrooms. Tensions were high at a September 29 parent-teacher meeting in a Moscow-area school. The reason:  in a sixth-grade class, children have...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Mark Lowry: How Russian Children Learn Russian

Mark Lowry completed his undergraduate senior research projects for Stetson University in Russia with the assistance of The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) during the summer of 2009. Contact SRAS for more information on how...

Chernobyl: A Tour of Ground Zero

By Lisa Horner Lisa Horner is a graduate of the Translate Abroad Program through The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS). She is currently working for SRAS in Russia as our Moscow Coordinator and Student Relations Manager....

The Cold War Bunker

By Hannah Chapman Hannah Chapman is majoring in Russian Studies at Stetson University. She spent spring semester, 2009 studying abroad with The School of Russian and Asian Studies in Moscow on the Translate Abroad Program. She hopes to...

Kyrgyzstan, A Love Story

During the spring semester of 2008, I decided to study abroad in the rustically beautiful country of Kyrgyzstan. Many would be surprised at my exotic choice of destination (which is actually increasingly popular among SRAS...

Notes From the Field: Life in a Reindeer Collective

I first became aware of the Evenki reindeer-herding nomads of the Siberian Far East as an undergraduate pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Anthropology. Fascinated by the idea of an entire culture based on fur...

Owen Murray: Study Abroad in Later Life

Owen Murray started learning Russian late in life after meeting several Russian businessmen at a Rotary Club in California. He has since learned much of the language, traversed much of European Russia, and made a...

Culture Shock: A Kyrgyz in the States

The more a person knows, the more he or she is supposed to learn and be shocked by his/her discoveries. Before coming to the United States, I got in touch with some people who had been...

Learning and Culture Shock in St. Petersburg

Studying Outside the Box: A brief guide to culture shock and the meaning of learning and “fluency.” I use my thumbnail to scratch a viewing patch out of the ice that has accumulated on the...