Starting to think about summer

by Don  

Guess I'd better start up my summer blog. I hope to return with our program to Kazan this summer. So far the political situation seems like it will allow us to do so. I'll update here anytime something significant goes on.

Worry about the Russian economy

by Don  

Last year our program started on June 23. At that time the ruble exchange rate was 34 rubles to the dollar. As of this writing the rate is 46.6 rubles to the dollar, a fall of 27%. Pretty tough on the Russian people. I worry about my friends in Kazan.

Russian troops, tanks, artillery and air defense invade Ukraine

by Don  

Damn. Now I begin to doubt our summer program will take place in Russia.

Source: (mirror)


by Don  

It's January 1st, 2015, and so far it looks like our program will take place in Kazan. The budget looks good. The international politics have not significantly worsened, although Putin himself has become increasingly authoritarian. Kazan, here I come!

No Kazan

by Don  

I'm quite bummed: we will not be returning to Kazan this summer. Essentially what happened was that there were an insufficient number of student applications to financially justify the program. One reason that there were fewer applications is that fewer government funds can be used in Russia this year due to the political situation. So although we are not politically forbidden to go to Russia, nonetheless the political situation has taken its toll.

Our program in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, will take place, and all students who had applied to the Kazan program will have the option to go to Bishkek instead. I will be the resident director in Bishkek. Soon I'll start posting some info about that.

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