On August 19th I will be departing for a nine and a half month journey to Kirov, Russia on a scholarship provided by the US Department of State administered by American Councils. The program, NSLI-Y (National Security Language Institute for Youth) provides full scholarships for high school and recent graduates to study abroad in several counties. Approximately 500 scholarships were given out, of which 100 were given to students wishing to participate in Russian programs of varying length. About 10 students, including me, will be there for a complete academic year. The students staying for an academic year will be living in two cities, Kirov and Kazan.
The city where I will be staying has a population of 475,000 and is located in the Kirov oblast (state/province). It is an old city founded in 1181 on the shores of the Vyatka River. It is now a major transportation hub due to its location along the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Below is a link to the city website. It is all in Russian, but you can look at the pictures!