Holidays in Russia: Histories and Official Days Off for 2018

Russia’s long and eclectic history has created a calendar filled with diverse holidays. Some are federal holidays, marked with national celebrations and mandated days off. Others are of lesser importance, marked in private, in passing,...

My Budget in Irkutsk

My Budget for Irkutsk Fall, 2017 Irkutsk is a very affordable city especially in comparison to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and American cities. Most students in Irkutsk can live on average of 30-50 dollars per week....

Paintballing in Irkutsk

Paintballing (Baza 38) Lermontova St, 130, korp. 1 09:00-22:00 Prices from 18$+ Baza38.ru  If you are looking for an adrenaline rush and an hour of fun look no further than Baza 38. Located only a...

Unity Day in Irkutsk

Unity Day in Irkutsk November 4th City excursion included in SRAS Cultural Program for Irkutsk, Fall 2017 Unity Day (День народного единства) is held on November 4 every year across Russia. It commemorates the uprising which...

Golden Chopsticks in Irkutsk

Golden Chopsticks Золотые палочки 10:00 — 23:00 Meals from 8-15$ Байкальская ул., 202/8 Golden Chopsticks is a small Chinese restaurant located relatively close to the dorms where SRAS students usually stay in Irkutsk. The interior...

Zvezdny Bowling Center in Irkutsk

Zvezdny Bowling Center Декабрьских Событий, 102/1 10:00-0:00 Price 3-13$ Website Zvezdny bowling center is located in the center of Irkutsk, not far from the university. While my friends and I were just there for the...

Meeting Locals in Irkutsk

Getting Involved and Meeting Locals In Irkutsk A few suggestions Meeting local friends is one of the best ways to not only learn Russian, but also to feel at home in one’s host environment. The...

Bolshie Koty – Day Trip from Irkutsk

Bolshie Koty/Большие Коты Day Trip from Irkutsk Located on Lake Baikal (trip included in SRAS cultural program for Irkutsk for Fall, 2017) Bolshie Koty is a village located on the Western shore of Lake Baikal...

Teremok House Café in Irkutsk

Teremok House Café 4a Baikalskaya St (ул. 4а Байкальская) 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Entrees $3-$5 Teremok House Café is a small restaurant in downtown Irkutsk. It is located right next to the Shanghai City...

Omar Khayyam Café in Irkutsk

Омар Хайям Кафе/Omar Khayyam Café Karla Libknekhta St. 107В 11:00-24:00 Meals from 2-10$ Omar Khayyam Café is perfect for a student of any budget. I wandered upon this place while on a wild goose chase...

Russian as a Second Language in Bishkek and Irkutsk

Program Evaluation Russian as a Second Language in Bishkek and Irkutsk (plus Home and Abroad Scholarship)   Academic Program in Bishkek and Irkutsk Bishkek First, the basics. I was in the Russian as a Second Language program....

Trip to Vladivostok from Irkutsk

Trip to Vladivostok from Irkutsk $550 for 4.5 days* Vladivostok has been top on my list of Russian cities to visit for a while now, so I was determined to get there while I was...

Trip to Khabarovsk from Irkutsk

Trip to Khabarovsk from Irkutsk ~$500 for 2–3 days* This week, I took a long trip from Irkutsk. The end point was Vladivostok, but because of how expensive all the flights from Irkutsk to Vlad are,...

My Budget in Irkutsk

Irkutsk is theoretically a perfectly affordable city—cheaper than Moscow and big cities in the US—but it was pricier than I expected, and I had to watch my spending more than I did in Bishkek. The...

Victory Day in Irkutsk

Victory Day in Irkutsk Holiday Celebrated every May 9th Festivities around the city generally free Victory Day (День победы), celebrated on May 9 across Russia, is arguably the most important Russian holiday, other than New...

Rio Grande in Irkutsk

Rio Grande Restaurant Rossiyskaya 17B (Российская 17Б), Irkutsk 10 am–1 am most days Entrees ~ $6–12 Website I was extremely surprised and slightly terrified when I learned that there was a Tex-Mex restaurant in Irkutsk....

Ulan-Ude, Weekend Trip from Irkutsk

Ulan-Ude Weekend Trip from Irkutsk Cost estimate: $125 for 2.5 days Halfway into our program in Irkutsk, both I and a friend were feeling the travel bug again and were ready for a change of...

Buryat Cooking Lesson at Ulus in Irkutsk

Ulus, Buryat-Mongolian Restaurant (Улус) Buryat Cooking Lesson Part of SRAS Cultural Program, Spring, 2017 130 Kvartal, ul. 3 Iyulya 23 One of my favorite things about living in/traveling to other countries is getting to know...

Khmelnoe Podvorye in Irkutsk

Khmelnoe Podvorye (Хмельное подворье) 130 Kvartal, Sedovaya 10 12–12 (2 on Thurs, Fri, Sat) I dragged my friends to Khmelnoe Podvorye for a late lunch after an arduous bike ride one Saturday afternoon. It’s a...

Ethno-Cafe Belaruskaya Gleba in Irkutsk

Ethno-Cafe Belaruskaya Gleba (“Belarusian Bread”) Беларуская Глеба ul. Karla Marksa 26a 12 pm – 12 am Entrees $5–10 Belarusian food is not exactly local to Irkutsk, but I’ve come across so few Belarusian restaurants in my...

Okhlopkov Theater in Irkutsk

Okhlopkov Theater (Иркутский академический драматический театр им. Н.П.Охлопкова) ul. Karla Marksa 14 Tickets from 100 to 500 rubles Dramateatr.ru. The Okhlopkov Theater in Irkutsk (or the Irkutsk Academic Dramatic Theater named for Okhlopkov) is the...

Rassolnik in Irkutsk

Rassolnik 3 Iulya Street, #3 (ул. 3 июля) 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. (later on weekends) Entrees $5–$15 Rassolnik is a more upscale Russian restaurant in Irkutsk. Located in the trendy 130 Quarter (130 Квартал),...

Kraken Bar in Irkutsk

Kraken Bar Sverdlova 23a M-T, 12–12; F and S, 12–2 Kraken is a very comfortable bar/café situated a five- to ten-minute walk away from the faculty of foreign languages building of Irkutsk State University. With...

Dinamo—Skiing in Irkutsk

Dinamo Ski Base (Динамо Лыжная База) Kaprinskaya 119, Irkutsk (Капринская 119, Иркутск) 9am to 9pm Part of the SRAS cultural package for spring, 2017 Dinamo is a skiing facility just outside of Irkutsk. It’s right near...

Bolshoe Goloustnoe, near Irkutsk

Bolshoe Goloustnoe Weekend Trip from Irkutsk Part of the SRAS cultural package for spring, 2017 Bolshoe Goloustnoe (Большое Голоустное) is a very small town approximately two hours outside Irkutsk by car. It’s right on Lake...

Listvyanka, outside Irkutsk

Listvyanka Day Trip from Irkutsk Part of the SRAS cultural package for spring, 2017 Listvyanka (Листвянка) is a small town approximately 50 miles from Irkutsk. It is the closest point to Irkutsk that’s directly on...

City Dump Museum in Irkutsk

Irkutsk City Dump Museum Fifth kilometer of Aleksandrovskiy Highway Free The Irkutsk city dump museum is one of the strangest places I have ever been in my life—not just for the fact that it exists,...

Shedita Khanza Ethno-Cafe in Irkutsk

Shedite Khanza Partizanskaya 32 10–24 every day Entrees around $5 Looking for a good lunch on an empty afternoon, I found Shedite Khanza (Шэдитэ Ханза; Partizanskaya 32, entrance on Gornaya) during a long, fruitless walk...

Teaching English in Russia: The Complete Guide

Note that The School of Russian and Asian Studies 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...

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 by culture shock are those who did not expect to...