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Study Abroad in Russia

Pereslavl: Real Russia

As promised, this last post of my two-week break is about my week I spent in Pereslavl, where I was born and lived for nine years. Pereslavl — full name Pereslavl-Zalessky — is about two to three hours Northeast of Moscow, depending on traffic, and is a town of about 40,000, which is small by Russian standards. The city is part of what is known as the Golden Ring, which is several cities that form a ring shape to the NE of Moscow and are known for being ancient towns […]

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Moscow (Москва)

Since I feel that most people know a few things about Moscow, I will not say much about the city itself. It is also too big and has too much history. While in the city we had a bus tour, a tour of some parts of the Kremlin — such as the armory which houses Russian state treasures from the imperial era, and on the last day some of us visited the Tretyakov gallery — which is now a world-famous museum of Russian art of the past thousand years, from […]

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Kazan (Казань)

Two weeks ago my two-week Russian adventure began in Kazan, where my exchange group spent three days. Kazan is located about 450 miles Southeast of Moscow and is the eighth most populous city in Russia with just over a million people. Kazan is located at the junction of the Volga and the Kazanka rivers and is considered part of European Russia, though it is often seen as a crossroads between Europe and Asia. It is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, with about half the population ethnic Tatars and […]

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A Russian Ballet and the Peter and Paul Fortress (Русский Балет и Петропавловская Крепость)

Next Tuesday we leave for Kazan for several days, and then on to Moscow for another few days. After that we have a free week to travel wherever we want, within or outside of Russia. I will stay in Russia and go to my hometown, Pereslavl, to visit my sister and her family and hopefully some friends as well. But before this happens I have to get through some intimidating tests in Russian Grammar and Russian Conversation. So first of all, a couple weeks ago I got to see the […]

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One Month: Update

It’s already been over a month since I first arrived in St. Petersburg. I can’t believe how fast the time is flying by. So, my language skills are improving little by little, I can’t say there is an enormous improvement yet, but it is measurable I believe. Getting around St. Petersburg and getting to know the layout of the city also gets easier every day. I have no worries about this anymore. I am also getting more and more used to my tiny and slow elevator I have to take […]

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The Hermitage

So I am finally making a post about the Hermitage, where we went last weekend. The Hermitage is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world, with only the Louvre surpassing it in size. It was founded by Catherine the Great, and was open to the public in the 1850’s. It takes up several buildings that are all connected, including the former Winter Palace, which was added to the museum after the Revolution of 1917 and the end of the monarchy. The museum has more than three million […]

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Peterhof and Weekly Update

So after another week here I’m feeling a little more comfortable in my new surroundings. All of my classes have started now, so I actually have to start doing homework. I find them all interesting as they are pertinent to my major. Though I’m having a hard time getting used t0 classes that are all 1 1/2 hours long, and full days of class. Mostly this week has just been classes but I did get to walk around the city and visit the summer garden before it closed for the […]

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Russian Museum

Yesterday, we all had a free day without classes, so I went with a few others to go explore the city. First of all we walked in the downtown area to where the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, or as it is more commonly referred to, the Church of the Savior on Spilt Blood, is located. It is called by this name because it was built on the exact spot where Alexander II was assassinated in 1881. Afterwards we decided to check out the State Russian Museum. We were […]

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Getting Adjusted: First few days

All right, so it took lots of worrying about travel documents but here I am in St. Petersburg. The first few days have been a whirlwind, but even though it feels like it has been a long time it hasn’t even been a week. The first two days my CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange) group was in a hotel right by the airport where we met each other and had some long orientation sessions so I won’t say much about that. But the one thing I will say is […]

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On Reverse Culture Shock and Readjusting

Home home home! It has been wonderful. I spent two full weeks with family and friends catching up on all the things I’ve missed and just spending time relaxing with them. It’s been marvelous and everything I’ve hoped for. They have been thoughtful, understanding, loving, and supportive of my experience, and I’m truly lucky. But… I still miss St. Petersburg. A lot. In fact: 25 Things I Already Miss About St. Petersburg Efficient public transportation (aka: not driving in snow) Almette Cheese Spread Borsch Let’s just say all Russian food […]

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Advice for Studying Abroad in Russia/Highlights of St. Petersburg

This blog post might not be as exciting as others for my regular readers, but I figured since I’m now on my last week here in St. Petersburg I should gather up all the lists I’ve made about things I’ve learned here – advice, favorite places, general expectations, suggestions – and gather them into one giant compilation . I know I googled this a thousand times before I left, and there weren’t too many blogs offering much advice. I’ll do my best not to repeat too much! For those of […]

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I Came, I Saw, I Banya-ed

It’s so hard to believe I’m down to less than two weeks left in St. Petersburg. (Twelve days, to be exact.) I must admit, it’s a strange feeling knowing that I will be leaving this beautiful city so soon. I’ve grown used to my daily routine – buying my vanilla and chocolate флейнта at the Буше bread truck, the morning metro commute, walking the halls of the Smolny convent for class, heading to Счастье cafe to do some homework with Ryan, exploring St.P on the weekend – it is going […]

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On Excursions, Georgian Cuisine, and Those Holiday Blues

Боже мой! It certainly has been some time since my last blog post. I guess there is a bit of catching up I need to do! These past couple weeks I’ve had the opportunity to tour some of the most famous historical sites in St. Pete’s. (I know, you’re probably thinking ‘But isn’t all of St. Petersburg pretty much one famous historical museum or monument after another?’ The answer is yes. They seem to have an endless supply of museums, galleries, monuments, and memorials.) Last weekend I visted the island […]

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Globetrotting

Phew. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, but I’m finally back home in St. Petersburg. Let me first say that traveling abroad was a refreshing change after being cooped up in dark, dreary Petersburg for so long. It made me appreciate the city and people all over again. I suppose you’re all curious how my travel week went after ending my last post so abruptly, right? Well, let me tell you, it was fantastic. It sounds silly, but being able to overcome all the minor obstacles that came up […]

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Kiev & Moscow: Be There or Be (Red) Squared

That’s right. It’s travel week for me!! I’m writing to you right now from Warsaw, Poland! (I have a 9-hour overnight layover so I’m curled up on a nice little bench.) In a few hours, I will be flying out to Budapest (Hungary) where I will begin my travel week with my good friend, Camille. We both study Russian together at my university, and I am so excited to see a familiar face from home again. She is an expert traveler, so I know that the two of us will […]

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