A Travellerspoint blog

Host Family

I got an email from my host sister this week! Her name is Tanya and she is 16 years old. She also has a 21 year old sister named Dasha. I have been emailing back and forth with her for a few days now and I can't wait to actually meet her. She speaks English really well and is a student at the same school I am going to this summer. I will be living with her for the last 2.5 weeks of my time in Russia. I'm so excited and I leave in only 10 days!!

Posted by kwood24 10:52 Comments (0)

Accepted by Russia!

Friday at around 9 pm, I got an email notifying me that I was accepted by Russia! This means that the teachers and administrators in Russia have reviewed my application and medical history and said it's okay for me to enter their school this summer. This also means that more information is on the way (finally). Visa, host family, school and class placements should be coming in the next few weeks! Next Wednesday, I have a conference call for just the Russia NSLI-Y participants. It's a chance to ask questions about the culture, the program, and to get some more country-specific information. So far, all of the orientations I've been to have been very general and more focused on safety and immunizations.

Also recently this week, I received my domestic and international flight information! Inside the email notifying me, I got a "What To Do When You Get Off The Plane In New York" pamphlet giving very detailed instructions about how to make it from LaGuardia airport to the orientation in Long Island. It should be great!

Only 24 more days!

Posted by kwood24 06:21 Comments (0)

Local Pre-Departure Orientation

This Saturday, I went to a local pre-departure orientation at NC State in Raleigh. It was for AFS participants of any program, so there was people going to Italy, Spain, Costa Rica, Argentina, France, Belgium, China, and Turkey. I think there were three NSLI-Y scholarship participants at the orientation. We basically covered safety, what to expect, what to pack, and answered general questions. It also gave us a chance to talk to other students going abroad. Everyone was very nice and friendly; it was really great to meet them!

The orientation also was for students who had spent the year in the US and were returning home in the next month. There was about 20 of them in the Triangle area that attended the meeting, including two kids from Russia! I got to talk to them about Russia, where they lived there, what to expect when I went, and what I should bring. This was one of the most helpful parts of the meeting. It gave a really accurate and informative perspective on Russia and helped me prepare for my trip a lot!

Posted by kwood24 06:26 Comments (0)

Back in the US!


A photo of me and Zhenya outside of the orphanage in Slobodskoy, Kirov, Russia

Last Sunday, I arrived back in the US after the most amazing week of my life! I traveled to Slobodskoy, Russia (about an hour outside of Kirov) and visited my friends (who now feel like an extended family) at an orphanage there! We played games, had great conversations, and just hung out together. They taught me so much Russian and I learned an unbelievable amount in such a short time. It made me so much more excited for this summer when I will be in Kirov for 6 whole weeks! This spring break reminded me how wonderful the language, culture, and people are in Russia. I am so blessed to have such incredible opportunities to go to the greatest place on earth! :)

Only 70 more days until I leave!

Posted by kwood24 17:55 Comments (0)

Two weeks later...

So it has been two weeks now since I got my acceptance letter into NSLI-Y and I still can't believe it's real! I have reread all of the information that I have gotten countless times and just can't wait until I actually go to Russia this summer! I am so blessed to have such an amazing opportunity and it really is a dream come true.

Since I have almost memorized our three page packet that we received about our trip, I will give a quick summary of what I will be doing in Kirov. Once I arrive, I will be spending three weeks in a 'camp' with about 15 other Americans who are also going with AFS. We will be taking classes in the morning and going on cultural field trips in the afternoon. After completing the classroom portion of my trip, I will spend 3 weeks with my host family. I don't know who they are yet (AFS is still matching people up) but I'm sure they will be great! While with my host family, I will try to do typical Russian things (going to a banya, dacha, etc) and eat Russian foods! It will be an amazing experience to practice the language and learn more about their culture. I can't wait!

Tomorrow I leave for Russia with my church and family and we will be going to Kirov again! I am hoping to go past where we are staying for the first part of this summer because some of the translators know where it is! If you want to hear about our travels in Kirov next week, please go to www.mission127.org. I will be blogging a couple times while there in addition to other travelers.

до свидания!


Posted by kwood24 04:50 Comments (0)

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