Rebekah Switala is a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. She is working on her Master’s degree in Central and East European Studies with specialization in women and gender. She received her BA from Western Michigan University in 2011, graduating magna cum laude, after which time she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in a women’s rights organization in North Moldova. She is studying Polish in Warsaw and is undertaking an internship at Political Critique there. She intends on pursuing a Ph.D. after completing her Master’s.
Rebekah Welch is a senior at University of Montana in Missoula. She is a double major in Russian and Journalism with an emphasis on photography. She is studying Russian language at NovaMova in Kiev, and am also working for the school as an intern, creating a photoblog. After a semester abroad, she hopes to become fluent enough in Russian that she can work as photojournalist throughout Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Although she loves this area of the world, she has a passion for journalism and will go wherever the story takes her.
Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.
Cian Stryker is pursuing a Bachelors of Philosophy with a dual degree in Political Science and Russian and Eastern European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently studying abroad on SRAS's Central Asian Studies program in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. He is currently writing a thesis comparing the ethnic Russian diaspora in Estonia to that in Kyrgyzstan and to what extent those diasporas experience ethnic tension. He spent the summer of 2016 living and studying in Narva, Estonia. He hopes to eventually join the US Foreign Service.
Joseph Ozment is a fourth-year International Studies and Russian Studies major at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. He is minoring in music minor and has spent a lot of free time on music projects. He is studying Russian as a Second Language and also working an internship with The Moscow Times. He hopes to increase his Russian skills and cultural awareness so as to use his knowledge of the country and language in a professional setting in the future.
Jack Fischer is majoring in Physics with Russian and Economics minors at Iowa State University of Science and Technology in Ames, Iowa. He is studying Russian as a Second Language with SRAS over the summer of 2016 to improve his command of the Russian language. In the future, he’d like to work for himself and run a business. I haven’t decided on a location yet, but I’m certainly open to Russia or the former USSR territories.
Erik Finn is a rising senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Although his primary major is political science with a concentration in international relations, Erik’s study abroad experience in St. Petersburg has encouraged him to take on a double major in Russian studies. On campus in Amherst, Erik is involved in the Russian culture organization, club swim team, and residential life as a RA. He elected to study abroad in Russia with the encouragement of the vibrant Slavic community on campus and the desire to gain more insight into the mysterious Russian ethos.
Lucas Fagre is a Junior at Iowa State University, where he is double majoring in Anthropology and Linguistics, with a minor in Russian Studies. He is currently studying abroad Russian as a Second Language for the academic year in Irkutsk. He is not sure how it will fit into his degree or plans for the future, but being able to speak a second language certainly seems like a very interesting and valuable skill to him, and he’s always been curious about the differences between Russia is to America.
Callie Rades is a senior at Stetson University majoring in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. She is currently studying abroad for an academic year in Warsaw, Poland in the Security and Society program at Collegium Civitas. In the past Callie has studied in Moscow, Russia and in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and also worked in Bishkek the summer before arriving in Poland. After graduation, she hopes to work abroad somewhere within the region of post-Soviet countries or Eastern Europe.
Jesika Berry holds a bachelors of arts in music performance (flute) from Spelman College in Atlanta Georgia. She has formerly been a principle flautist for AUC Symphony Orchestra (Atlanta) and a cellist for the Huxford Symphony Orchestra (Tuscaloosa). After completing SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, she hopes to go on to graduate studies in Russian musicology.
Jonathan Rainey majored in History and English at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. While at Francis Marion, he was a member of Phi Alpha Theta, National History Honors Society and worked as a reporter for The Patriot, the university's newspaper. Jonathan will be serving as an SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar in Vladivostok for the 2015-2016 school year. He is pictured here at Vladivostok's annual celebration of "Tiger Day."
Allie Sasek graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and a double minor in Women and Gender Studies and Planning, Public Policy, and Management. She previously studied abroad in St. Petersburg during summer 2014, studied and interned in Warsaw in summer 2015, and will return for SRAS's Russian Studies Abroad in St. Petersburg for the 2015 fall semester. Allie intends to attend a masters program in Europe, and work as a sustainability consultant for international NGOs, businesses, and governments.
Ian Walker graduated from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada May of 2015 with a degree in Philosophy and a minor in Law & Society. He is now studying Russian as a Second Language with SRAS in Bishkek while serving an SRAS-arranged internship at a local NGO to learn more about non-profit work and international community development. He hopes to start Peace Corps service in the following year or two to continue his career in community development. In the picture here, he pictured in a Bishkek park that has a tower which is locked until one purchases a ticket to go to the top, and holding a bottle of Maksim Shoro, a popular Kyrgyz fermented drink.
Ann Le graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with a degree in International Studies and a concentration on Europe. She is currently in Moscow, studying Russian as a Second Language through SRAS. Ann enjoys exploring, eating good food, and writing – all of which she is able to do every day while abroad. She is seen here honey tasting at a Roman festival in in Kolomenskoye Park.
Taylor Sirch is currently a junior at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, double majoring in International Studies and Russian language with a minor in World Politics. She is studying Russian as a Second Language through the summer of 2015 in St. Petersburg and learning more about Russian culture first hand. In the future, she hopes to work for the US governement in a diplomatic role between the United States and Russia.
Josh Seale is pursuing an MA in interdisciplinary German and European Studies at Georgetown University with a specialization in German-Polish relations. He holds a BA in Germanic Studies from the University of Chicago and has interned abroad in Germany and studied abroad previously in Poland. He is currently serving as an SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar in Warsaw, Poland
Sophia Rehm graduated from the University of Chicago in 2012 with a BA in Russian Language and Literature. She studied Russian in St. Petersburg in 2010 and is currently in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan as SRAS's Home and Abroad: Translate Scholar. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures, as well as literary translation.
Julia Diamond graduated from Boston University in May, 2014 with a Major in International Relations and a Minor in Russian. She is currently interning at PIR Center in Moscow and studying Russian Language with SRAS at MGU. She hopes to eventually obtain a dual JD/MA degree focusing on international law and security studies, and eventually helping to form international nonproliferation/arms control policy. She is seen here on a balcony of the Roman Coliseum.
Alexander Misbach graduated from the University of Virginia in August of 2014 with degrees in Environmental Science and Russian and East European Studies. He is currently spending an academic year in Vladivostok enrolled in SRAS’s Russian as a Second Language program. Upon the year’s completion he would like to study Polish in its native land, and/or travel until the money runs out.
Sarah Parker is a University of Utah student working on an undergraduate in Business Operations with a minor in Russian Language. After The School of Russian and Asian Studies' Russian as Second Language program in 2014, she will complete her degree and begin work on her career goal of increasing commercial trade between Russia and the Americas. She is seen here being chased by a bear near Pavlovsk.
Lauren Bisio is an MA candidate in Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University. Her research interests include post-Soviet national identity, material culture and handicraft traditions, and the development of the NGO sector in post-communist countries. She is spending summer 2014 in Bishkek as an intern at the Union of the Artistic Crafts through SRAS's NGO and Cultural Internship Program.
Olivia Route is an undergraduate studying Russian and International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania. She has previously spent summers in Russia and is excited to spend a semester exploring the former Soviet Union through SRAS’s Policy and Conflict program. Olivia likes running, eating, nature, and art.
Corinne Hughes has studied art and literature at the Evergreen State College in Washington. She has spent a semester in Irkutsk for language immersion and then another semester in St. Petersburg to engage more in cultural studies. She continued developing her research methods, focusing on the strife between politics and art, during a semester in Hungary. She is now studying the contemporary art scene in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan prior to graduation. Her long-term goal is to promote international communication and collaboration between artists in the United States, Russia, and Eurasia.
Ian Blair hails from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon where he is majoring in Religious Studies and minoring in Russian. He is currently enrolled in SRAS’s Far Eastern Studies Program, hosted at Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service (VSUES). When he isn't conjugating verbs or memorizing cases, he enjoys photographing the natural and built environment of Vladivostok and being impressed with Russian smoothies. After he returns from Russia, he looks forward to completing his undergraduate thesis and possibly applying to graduate school.
Nick Cappuccino is currently a junior at CUNY Hunter College in New York City, majoring in Russian language, and double minoring in Geography and German language. Nick has also been studying Persian Farsi for the past two years with instructors from New York City’s ABC language exchange, and Turkish for one year with instructors from New York City’s Ataturk School at the United Nations. He has also studied Russian language at Indiana University’s SWSEEL summer language workshop. Nick is doing his semester abroad with SRAS in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan, where he is studying Russian and Tajik with a Charles Braver Grant.
Alyssa Yorgan holds a BM (cello performance) and an MA (musicology) from Indiana University-Bloomington. She has focused most of her research on music and politics in the Soviet Union. She has studied abroad in Ufa, Russia (via a State Dept. Critical Language Scholarship) and has now worked abroad in a variety of fields including teaching English, working as a recruiter for American Councils' FLEX program, and translating. She is currently studying through SRAS on a customized Translate Abroad internship and hopes to pursue future work in Moscow in the fields of translating, editing, and localization management.
Samantha Guthrie attends the University of Virginia, class of 2016. She is a double major in Foreign Affairs and Russian and Eastern European Studies. A Boren Scholarship recipient, she plans to work for the US government in a career related to national defense intelligence or international aid. Her research focuses on the relationship between Russians and Caucasians. She spent spring and summer 2014 in St. Petersburg with SRAS Russian Studies Abroad and Russian as a Second Language.
Emily Wang is PhD student in the Slavic Languages and Literatures program at Princeton University. She is an editor of the Minorities Abroad Project of this site and her account will be used to post insights from multiple authors. This project is affiliated with the Association for Students and Teachers of Color in Slavic Study, a sub-group of ASEEES (the Assocation for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies). For more about her, see her site at Princeton.
View all posts by Emily Wang
SRAS students come from around the world to study, intern, or research in Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, or Russia. They often write while abroad and, on occasion, SRAS will request to publish exceptional works. This account on Students Abroad will serve as platform to publish single contributions from individual students.
Meghan Kindy will be graduating in May of 2014 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in both History and Biological Sciences from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. She is studying Russian as a Second Language at Moscow State University in Moscow with SRAS during the summer of 2013 and will return to Clemson University in the fall to continue her Russian language studies at home. Directly after graduation, Meghan plans on returning to Russia to further her Russian language skills and, after a year or so of rest from college, go on to attend medical school in the United States!
Jackie Dufalla is currently a student at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Slavic Studies and Politics and Philosophy. She will be participating in SRAS’s Internships: NGO and Cultural program in St. Petersburg over the summer of 2013. She hopes to combine her interests by going to graduate school for political science, focusing on Eastern Europe and Russia.
Alexander Wilson is a senior at Indiana University-Bloomington. He is studying History, Business Management, Investment Banking, and—of course—Russian. In order to improve his Russian language skills and learn more about business in Eastern Europe, Alex decided to travel to Ukraine. He spent most of the summer of 2013 in Kiev (Kyiv), where he took classes through The School of Russian and Asian Studies at NovaMova International Language School and interned at UniCredit Bank. After graduating in Spring 2014, Alex will start a career in investment banking and eventually wants to go into international business, hopefully in Ukraine and Russia.
Marin Ekstrom is an undergraduate studying Global, Cultural, and Language Studies and Russian Studies at the College of St. Scholastica (Duluth, Minnesota). She is studying in St. Petersburg over Summer, 2013 with the Russian as a Second Language program. It will be her first time outside of North America, and she is excited to sharpen her language skills while experiencing cultural immersion. Ideally, in her future she would like to pursue graduate studies in either International Relations or Russian Area Studies.
Caroline Barrow is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in International Studies and Russian. She loves traveling and hearing people's stories. Out of the places she's been able to visit, her favorite was Kiev, Ukraine for its beauty, history, and friendly people. She received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and will spend the next year teaching English in Kostanay, Kazakhstan. Additionally, she has been named SRAS's Home and Abroad Translation Scholar for the 2013-2014 cycle. Her contributions to Students Abroad will include mostly translations of articles and blog posts that will be of interest to students.
Marie Forney is a Master of Public Affairs student in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington. She holds M.M. and B.A. degrees in music theory and flute performance from Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame, respectively, with special emphasis on Russian ballet. Her artistic studies are serving well as a gateway into policy analysis and international development, and she is in Ukraine on an internship program arranged by The School of Russian and Asian Studies, studying Russian at NovaMova International Language School while interning at the Institute of World Policy in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Kristin Torres has studied Russian language and literature at the University of Missouri-Columbia and at the Summer Workshop in Slavic and Eastern Languages at Indiana University Bloomington. An aspiring arts and culture journalist, she has a particular focus on Eastern European film and literature. A former intern on the Arts Desk at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. and at California and Missouri affiliates KQED and KBIA, she hopes to further develop her research and arts reporting skills on the Home and Abroad: Art program in St. Petersburg.
Eirene Busa is a Master's Candidate at Georgetown University with the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies. She has a BA in History and a Minor in Middle East Studies from the College of William and Mary. She studied Russian at the NOVAMOVA Russian language school in Kiev in the summer of 2012. She is currently in Bishkek with the SRAS "Home and Abroad: Report" program.
D. Garrison Golubock
David Garrison Golubock graduated from the University of Chicago in 2011 with degrees in history and Slavic languages and literatures. With a full year of academic study abroad already under his belt, he will be participating in SRAS's Home and Abroad Program in Irkutsk over the 2012-2013 academic year. He plans to pursue graduate studies in his fields.
Jordan Bryant is a recent graduate of Harvard University (Go Crimson!), who specialized in both Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Classics. In order to deepen her knowledge of the Russian language and study the culture from a perspective different than the ones she had already experienced in the "two capitals", she has journeyed to Vladivostok, which is on the other side of the country! After she returns from Russia, she hopes to matriculate into law school and work in the field of international corporate law in Eastern Europe.
Здравствуйте! I am a candidate for a BA-MA in linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania with an interest in the Russian language. Last summer I did SRAS's Russian as a Second Language (RSL) program at Moscow State University (MGU) for two months, where I greatly improved my knowledge of Russian and the people who speak it, particularly those in the city's Jewish community. Most likely I will end up doing work in academia, business, or consulting related to my degree, which hopefully will bring me back to Russia sometime in the near future.
Jessica is halfway through a Masters Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also graduated in 2011 with a B.A. in Russian Language and Literature and history minor. During the summer of 2012, she is studying Russian as a Second Language at Moscow State University with SRAS. She has previously studied with ACTR's Russian Language and Area Studies program in St. Petersburg and UNC's Summer Study Abroad history program in Greece. After finishing her degree, she plans to search for a job as a Russian translator or journalist/writer. She has been a vegetarian for four years, but has never found this to be a severely limiting factor in traveling abroad or exploring different cuisines.
Michael Smeltzer has degrees in Russian Language and Philosophy from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He has previously studied abroad in Irkutsk and is currently spending an academic year in Vladivostok as part of SRAS's Home and Abroad program.
Rikki Brown holds a Bachelors degree in Russian Studies from Grand Valley State University, Michigan. She studied abroad on a year-long program of Russian as a Second Language with SRAS in St. Petersburg. Afterwards, she received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Russia and is now teaching English in Astrakhan, Russia. This summer she will study Turkish in Istanbul and in the fall she will start a Masters program in Russian, Eurasian, and Eastern European Studies at Georgetown University.
David Parker holds a degree in Russian and East European Studies from Middlebury College. He studied abroad on SRAS's Translation Abroad Program in Moscow. David plans to keep translating as a freelance professional and to attend graduate school in either translation or Slavic Studies.
Chris Chaplin is an undergraduate studying law and conflict resolution at the University of Oregon. He previously worked for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan from 2007-2009. He is currently studying Russian as a Second Language and serving an internship with Peace House in St. Petersburg through SRAS. He really, really loves food.
Peter Bourgelais is a second bachelor's student at the University of Massachusetts. He has a BA in Political Science from the University of Maine, and is spending the spring semester in Bishkek in the Russian as a Second Language program while interning at the Bishkek-based Civil Initiative on Internet Policy, a local NGO that deals with IT policy in Central Asia.
Danya Spencer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages – Russian & Chinese from Lewis and Clark University. She is currently studying in the year-long Home and Abroad Program with The School of Russian and Asian Studies. This program combines study abroad in Russia, an intensive professional internship focusing on translation, research, and writing.
The School of Russian and Asian Studies
SRAS specializes in study, research, and travel abroad to Russia and Eurasia.SRAS also maintains this site and provides free info for students studying Russia and Eurasia. Explore our resources to find out more!
Kyle Mendes has a degree in European and 20th Century Russian History from UC Santa Cruz. He is studying on SRAS's Russian as a Second Language Program in Moscow. He plans to attend graduate school in the fall of 2012 to further his study of Russian history.
Taryn Jones graduated in 2008 from the University of Victoria (Canada) with her BA in history and anthropology. During that time, she also studied Russian and art history, and was heavily involved with the university’s Russian Studies course union. In January 2012, she will begin her studies at the University of British Columbia in a double Master’s program in library and archival science. Ideally, she would like to work in a gallery or museum’s library or archive.