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SRAS NEWS  / SRAS HOLDS "LIVING AND WORKING IN RUSSIA-2011" SEMINAR
12.12.2011


SRAS Holds Seminar
"Living and Working in Russia"
by Kyle Mendes, Moscow Intern, SRAS

  georgian-evening-004
A few examples of the Georgian food
enjoyed that evening.

On Friday, the ninth of December 2011, SRAS hosted a lovely evening for its participating students at the Georgian restaurant Guriya. Aside from providing an impressive spread of mouth-watering food, SRAS also invited various Western expats to speak about their real experiences Living and Working in Moscow and what one should keep in mind if interested in coming to work in one of the world's fastest expanding economies.

The speakers were particularly interesting as they represented a wide variety of professions. Josh Wilson, the Assistant Director of SRAS and himsexelf a nine-year Moscow veteran, began the evening with a brief talk on various visa and housing options for people who would look to stay in Moscow long term, but aren't too sure where to start.

Peter Eckstrom, who works for the Foreign Service and is currently stationed at the US embassy in Moscow, then spoke about what the embassy can and can't do for US citizens in Moscow. He also spoke about his personal experience abroad and about the process of entering the Foreign Service and what sort of work they do. He had all sorts of practical advice for people who are planning a quick visit to Russia, and had plentiful anecdotal information regarding how to properly navigate the difficulties created by Russian bureaucracy.

Allen Sullivan, a British businessman now working in Moscow for the better part of two decades, and for the better part of the last decade for Staffwell, one of Moscow's top recruiting companies, had seemed to have a real grasp on cultural aspects of Moscow and how one looking to live here could better integrate oneself into local society.

  georgian-evening-023
The evening attracted more than
30 students and guests. 

Other guests included Denise Roza, director of NGO's Perspectiva and Best Buddies which work with the mentally and physically disabled in Moscow, and former SRAS students Garret Pappas, now working for a patent law firm, Leadie Flowers, currently working for Ernst and Young as an English teacher and attempting to publish her original SciFi literature, and Elizabeth Bagot, who now works for Interfax.

After a more formal part of the evening, students began to approach the guest speakers with their own questions. Many asked Leadie Flowers about prospects of teaching English. Others asked Elizabeth Bagot about her language studies and educational preparation for life in Moscow. Still others were interested in Denise Roza's work and the process of founding and running an NGO in Russia. Yet such serious topics were not the only things on the agenda as Allen and Denise shared many names of popular restaurants and clubs they have enjoyed for both their ambiance and cuisine.

The food spread out across the table at Guriya was nothing short of extraordinary in both its presentation and flavor. There was a range of flavorful Georgian dishes including satsivi, adzhapsandali, khatchapouri, and khinkali.

A wonderful event that stimulated both body and mind, and seems to be growing ever more popular with students, as was evinced by their healthy turn-out and hungry curiosity.


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