Hogwarts Acceptance Letter?


For the past month I’ve been promising myself that I’d start blogging again (well let’s be honest… I never really blogged for NSLI-Y…)But life’s been going full speed and I’ve been having a hard time putting my thoughts into written words. I’m leaving. I’ve been accepted as a Davis scholar and I am leaving. For so long I’ve talked about wanting to escape Tucson and my small little fishpond, but now that it’s going to happen- I’m not sure how I feel. Happy- that I’ll have so many new experiences, and terrified- Leaving home for two years at the ripe old age of 16… I still really don’t know how to sum up UWC into a pretty little paragraph, so here’s what I have to say. I am the recipient of a full scholarship to study at a boarding school in New Mexico and complete the IB Diploma, while surrounded by students from all over the world. For more information on this aammaazziinngg program here is a link to the official UWC website (https://www.uwc.org/about/missions-values). Currently I’m just trying to stay present in school while early onset senioritis kicks in and trying not to think too far ahead. Second Years seem to say that participating in group chats and all of that before you go, can negatively affect your experience. Not doing this is harder than it seems, since I really do want to learn about my soon-to-be co-years.

Trying not to die out of enthusiasm. Moving to New Mexico. Living Life to The Fullest.

Ta ta,

Da svadanya,




Halfway point.

Written Saturday: As of today, I am officially halfway through my time here. I don’t know where the time has gone.

I am really enjoying myself here, there are moments where I miss home, but it usually blows by quickly. It is hard to find time to blog. I feel guilty when I use my computer instead of doing homework, or studying, or hanging out with people. I am going to try and blog more for my last three weeks here.

I can honestly say I’ve never had to work this hard in a class before. Russian language is very very very complex, and on top of that, we are doing a full years course, in six weeks! The biggest issue I’ve faced with it, is getting overly stressed. It is very easy for me to get overwhelmed and consequently sad. The best thing I’ve found to combat that, is to work hard and study, but also to give myself nights off. Nights where I will do homework while watching a movie with friends, or when our group hangs out in the common room together and just goofs around. I feel the best after those evenings.

I’m really conflicted about the trip being halfway over. I have an amazing group of people, a host family which I love, a beautiful city at my fingertips, and so much more here in Moscow. But I’m also going to be happy to see friends and family again, and to understand what is going on around me. I definitely want to do another study abroad during my high school career. I’ve always wanted to do it, but this has really cemented that. Getting to experience the struggles that come from living in a foreign place, has really helped me see what study abroad for a year would be like. Knowing the challenges that I would face, makes it seem less like a far away dream, and more like a very possible reality. It wouldn’t be easy, but it would be life changing. This program has been life changing.

You don’t realize how many stereotypes you carry around with you, until you interact with people in a foreign country. It has been really eye opening discovering the stereotypes and beliefs, I didn’t even know I had. One of my favorite things so far, is watching them get proven wrong. As much as you can say that all humans everywhere are the same, it means nothing until you discover it for yourself.

Excuse how haphazard this post is. I’m writing at night on my iPod, and I haven’t had time to edit. Or punctuate… I am lucky enough to have time to write, because I am at my host family’s house. Tonight I taught my host sister some American card games, it was really great!

There is more I’d like to say, but I’m very tired and it is late.


До Сваданя!



Russia: Day 1

Today around 1 P.M. Moscow time, we got to the dorms at which we will be staying. I don’t know what surprises me the most about Russia, how many things are different, or how many things are the same.  Walking down streets I could easily think my surroundings were American, not Russian. However, it is the details which make the biggest differences. There are special tunnels under the roads, because cars don’t stop for people. The tea is a sugar syrup not tea. Not to mention all of the huge cultural differences. I’m not sure what I expected, I don’t think this is it, but I think this is just as amazing only different… The only thing I can think of, is a saying our Program Coordinator always says , “It’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s just different.” All of the stereotypes about being overfed are true. The cafeteria gives you more food than you could eat in a day. Today, we made the mistake of not bringing our uneaten pears with us after lunch, and we got scolded by the Russian cafeteria ladies. It was both amusing and terrifying, since only our RA understood what they were saying… Lunch was: a delicious soup made from a meat broth and veggies, rice, pork, tomatoe cream sauce, tomatoe slices with cheese, bread, two pears, compot, and water. We also seem to have arrived on one of the hotter days of the summer, this would not be an issue, except the dorms have no A.C. As a result we are all a little overheated. Everyone is fairly exhousted right now, because we have not slept since Saturday, and it is now Sunday night. I think that I am going to try and sleep soon.  My pictures aren’t uploading, so I can’t post many pictures today.








Day 2: NYC

Today was our second day of PDO. The best part so far, has been meeting all of my groupmates. We’ve been given money for food in NYC, so during free time there has been a lot of wandering around the city while eating various goodies. So far the favorite; starbucks… so much Starbucks (I’ve had two drinks today alone…) Yesterday evening and today have mostly consisted of seminars and exploring the city. The best moments have been little things: Finding a shared interest with a groupmate, playing uno and realizing at the end we were all playing different versions, arguing over the best kind of boba, and forming a study group to learn new words. Tomorrow we have some really exciting stuff planned! Right now my biggest struggle has been losing my room key…There is no replacement… So right now the security guy is closing/opening my door for me :).  I’m really excited for what’s to come, and scared of how quickly time is passing me by.

Until next time,

Love Anna


9 Days to go!

It’s officially 9 days until I arrive in New York for the PDO (Pre-Departure Orientation). I can’t think of words to describe how I’m feeling, except for ecstatic. This is my 3rd attempt at writing a blog post. I did not predict how hard blogging would be. The worst part  is the lull. From March to May, I was constantly getting updates; forms I needed to submit, missing information, where/when I would be flying. There was a constant influx of information, and I was never given the time to worry and freak out. Now, I’ve gotten almost no updates this month. I’m still waiting for information on my host families (hopefully I’ll find out soon, so I can buy them gifts!) All that’s left is one homework assignment, and I still need to take some pictures of my neighborhood (to share with friends/host families in Russia). With this break, I’ve started freaking out.First, I realized that I still need to buy a LOT of stuff for my trip. New jeans. New dresses. New shoes. New belts. Etc. and lately I’ve been feeling a bit anxious about it all. I’ve spent so many years wanting to do this, that having it so close is surreal. For now I’m just eating as much familiar food as I can, and enjoying my time here before I leave.

For anyone else out there about to start their adventures, have a fantastic time!

blog post image

С любовью,



Hi! Most of the people reading this blog already know me, and why I am writing it but for the rest of you, here goes… My name is Anna and last month I received the amazing news that this summer I will be living and studying in Moscow! The trip is fully funded by an amazing program NSLI-Y (pronounced kinda like the chocolate brand Nestle) which is run by the state dept. The program is intended to promote the learning of critical languages. Honestly, I am not sure how to describe it without reiterating the mission statement, so I’ll post a link to the website below. This will be my first time blogging so bear with me if the first few posts are awkward! I’m hoping this blog will serve to keep my family/friends updated on my life here, and to share my experience with any NSLI-Y hopefuls. I am sooooooo incredibly excited about this experience and I can’t wait till the summer! I hope you all enjoy my blog, and I’ll see you next time!



Ps. NSLI-Y Website link: http://www.nsliforyouth.org/