As part of the first semester programming in Moldova, American Councils organized a cultural exploration program trip as part of the students’ winter break. Bălți is the country’s third largest city, by population, after Chisinau and Tiraspol. Often referred to as Moldova’s “Northern Capital,” Bălți is located 127 kilometers north of Chisinau. Soroca is smaller in size, but holds culturally important sites, including Soroca Fort, a location the group was able to use their Russian skills to learn more about. Soroca is 160 kilometers north of Chisinau, and along Moldova’s border with Ukraine. The goal of this trip and programming was to provide the group with hands-on experience in a region of Moldova that is home to many native Russian speakers. The three day schedule (January 8-11, 2015) featured teambuilding and scavenger hunt challenges, meetings and activities with a local craftsmen cooperative and Russian Cultural Center, as well as historical lessons at local cultural sites. Furthermore, the trip provided the group with ample time to come together, reflect on their achievements across the first semester in Moldova, and also prepare for their upcoming move to Narva, Estonia. Below are some pictures from Bălți and Soroca.