After seven months of waiting to hear whether I had been accepted to the program and another month of waiting to hear about my destination, I have finally received word that I am being placed as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Elabuga, Tatarstan!

My dad commented that every time I head back to the Motherland I seem to be going east, and indeed, Elabuga is yet another step eastward from the more well-known cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

File:Tatarstan in Russia.svg

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Elabuga is a small city of about 70,000 located in Tatarstan, a republic within Russia whose primary religion is Islam. This will not be my first time in Tatarstan, as my study-abroad group in 2010 traveled to its capital, Kazan, on a weekend excursion.

Upon doing a little research on the city I’m going to be working in, my first reactions were be-yu-tee-full! With lush, wild countryside coupled with the charming architecture of a city not tainted with the monotony of modernization, I have a feeling this Maine girl is going to feel right at home. The description that hooked me, though, in one of the many online articles that I read was that it, “feels like one has walked into one of Chekhov’s short stories.” Tantalizing. Absolutely tantalizing.

1 comment

  1. What an adventure this will be. I’ve long been fascinated by the Tatars, I wish I was going. They played an important part in Russian history and even today many famous Russians are actually Tatars. Against the odds, they’ve managed to preserve much of their original culture. I hope you have a good time!


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