The city I’m studying abroad in is called Bishkek. The city is beautiful. It has everything you can think of: beautiful tall mountains, lakes, parks, good restaurants and malls. It’s a blend of a lively metropolis and beautiful nature.
The daily life for me is Russian classes in the mornings, for five hours. Then, some students who live in the dorms (which are located inside the school’s building) will usually take an hour-long nap and then do other things. Some of the students work out in the gym afterschool. Others will go to Sierra coffee shop, which is the most Western coffee shop around, to relax and study.
I live with a host family. Both of my host parents work Monday through Friday 8am – 6pm. They usually get home by 7pm and we eat dinner by 8pm together. During dinner time, they would ask me how school was, how were my classes and this opens up the chance for me to talk Russian. Occasionally they would go outside in the evenings, for a walk. They invited me and I went with them a few times. Those evenings walks are my favorite because not only do I get to practice my Russian, but I also get to know about their life and their cultural/personal beliefs.
The academic experience is great as well. I thought, prior to coming to Bishkek, that I would be in a class with at least five other students. But, when I got here, my program coordinator told me that based on my Russian Placement Test, she organized one-on-one classes for me. And this works great because the teachers teach by my pace and they focus more on things that I need help on rather than teach extensively things I already am familiar with.