BISHKEK: These high school students were relaxing in the center of Bishkek on an early summer evening. They said they wanted to study medicine when they finish school.
St. Petersburg: I passed Palace Square and the Hermitage at 4:30 am on a Monday morning. As I did so, I saw some people on the square and got out to find out who they are and what they were doing. Anastasia, 39, was dressed in a yellow outfit and walking with a group. An office worker, Anastasia said she was celebrating her son's high school graduation.
St. Petersburg: Polina was walking down a ripped-up street in central St Petesburg dressed in all black including wingtip platforms. She said she was on her way to the city's annual high school celebration called Scarlet Sails. Polina said she would like to become and art critic and would like to do a study abroad program in Europe.
MOSCOW: Christiana, 15, was sitting at Gorky Park with friends on a recent weekday. Christiana, who enjoys evening walks and the Arctic Moneys, attends a high school that has a special focus on English with 5 lessons a week, each lasting 45 minutes. She also takes 5 private English classes a week, each lasting 1.5 hours. Though the start of a work career is many years off, I asked Christiana about future plans. She said she would like to become a journalist as she enjoys conversing with different people.
MOSCOW: With graduation time upon the city, young Muscovites have to decide what university to enter and what to study, a decision that will impact the rest of their life. Tatiana, who was reading 'Idiot' in Park Gorkovo on a sunny, weekday evening, said she wants to work a year and think things over before making that very important decision. She is considering studying acting.
MOSCOW: Artur was wearing a red bow tie and red shorts as he sung songs with friends from cadet school. "My girlfriend bought the bow tie, so I have to wear it," he said with a laugh in excellent English. I never met anyone that attended cadet school here and asked how he ended up there. He said he watched a TV series called Kadestvo. "I thought it was interesting and that girls would love me," he said with a laugh again. He's finishing exams now & in autumn will enter university.
ULAN-UDE, EASTERN SIBERIA: Elvira, 16, is a high school student in Ulan-Ude. She said she would like to become a journalist and hopes "to travel and write about people's lives." She said she has never been abroad and would like to visit England.
Aniket, 16, was standing near a metro in Moscow dressed in a colorful outfit. He said he was half Indian and half Russian. ''My dad came from a poor family in Rajistan. He was studying and working as a courier, when one day, a friend said to him 'Want a job in Russia?' It was right after the Soviet collapse and Aniket's dad took the opportunity, working about 10 years for a company in Moscow that sold Indian tea. Aniket said his dad met his Russian mom at that job. Now his dad runs his own business selling Indian tea and spices in Russia, Kazakhstan and Canada. Aniket, who plans on studying economics, said he may help run his dad's business when he finishes his university studies.