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SRAS NEWS  / LIVING AND WORKING IN RUSSIA SEMINAR
11.11.2009


SRAS Holds "Living and Working in Russia" Seminar
by Erin Decker, Intern, SRAS

On Friday, November 6, SRAS hosted its "Living and Working in Russia" seminar at the Georgian restaurant Dioskuria off of Novy Arbat. The seminar is part of SRAS's regular program offerings in Moscow and is free to all students who participate in most standard programs in that city. This semester, SRAS was able to additionally schedule the meeting so that students visiting on an SRAS-arranged trip from St. Petersburg were also able to participate.

The main focus of the seminar was for those who are hoping to successfully obtain work in Russia or to independently return to perform long-term research. Topics covered included searching for jobs and housing, obtaining the necessary documents to live and work long-term in the country, and navigating the often-arduous Russian bureaucracy in order to do it all. In addition to a formal presentation on these subjects by SRAS's Assistant Director, Josh Wilson, the seminar also included several guest speakers invited by SRAS to discuss employment in specific professional sectors and to provide a wide range of personal experience in discussing what life and work in Russia is really like.

Guest speakers included the CFO from a large American-based railroad supply company and a former SRAS student who now works in Moscow as a graphic designer for a video game company. A representative from the US Embassy was also present to discuss what embassy services are available to US citizens and how US citizens may apply for work in the Foreign Service. Lastly, a retired state department employee also discussed his experiences working for the US embassy under the Soviet Union, assisting with a program to help political refugees emigrate from the USSR.

Students shared some of their own experiences from their time in Russia over a dinner of traditional Georgian khachapuri and wine and were treated to an impromptu magic show by the restaurant's staff who have come to know and expect our groups each semester.


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