Study Abroad in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (American University of Central Asia)

Deadline: April 1, 2024

Bard Abroad is excited to announce the AUCA-Bard Fall 2024/Academic Year 2024-2025 Study Abroad Program in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The program is hosted by the American University of Central Asia (AUCA), a Bard College long term dual-degree partner. Undergraduate (typically second-, third-, and fourth-year) students at North American colleges or universities are invited to apply. Below is the program description. 

For more information and to apply visit the website.

Application Deadline: April 1, 2024. 

Program Dates for Fall 2024: August 23 – December 21, 2024 (TBC). 

The AUCA-Bard study abroad program offers intellectually adventurous students a unique opportunity to study side by side, in English, with peers from 25 different countries at the region’s most prestigious university. Students interested in Anthropology, Central Asian Studies, Political Science, Soviet Studies, or Russian and Central Asian languages will find an exciting liberal arts curriculum that develops students’ skills and cultural aptitude, both of which will foster sensitivity to the region’s rich traditions, as well as an adaptability to its democratic development. Students can choose one of two academic tracks – Russian Language Track or Liberal Arts Track – depending on their academic interest.

The Russian Language Track is open to students with at least two years of college-level Russian. Although more than 30 years have passed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Bishkek remains largely a Russian-speaking city, with Russian used as the common language between the many groups of people that call Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia home. Students will use Russian in and out of the classroom, in home-stays, with student peers, and in daily life. With a rich history and culture of its own, a shared-Soviet experience and common customs and cultural traditions which transcend borders, Kyrgyzstan is a fascinating place to study Russian outside of the European context and experience post-Soviet society. 

The Russian Language Track Program Highlights

·       One-week Russian Intensive – the program begins with a one-week intensive Russian course to introduce students to daily life in Bishkek, acquainting them with the city and local customs.

·       Russian Language Courses – students will take between 9 and 12 credits of Russian language each semester. Courses are designed to build proficiency and help students work towards mastery of Russian, taking advantage of Bishkek’s Russian-language environment. Students also have weekly meetings with an AUCA Russian language peer tutor.

·       Russian-speaking Homestays – students will have the option of staying with Russian-speaking families or living in a dormitory with AUCA peers, providing the opportunity to speak Russian daily outside of class and interact with the language and culture in a real-world context.

·       Enrollment in 2-3 academic courses from among the variety of courses taught at AUCA, which include many courses in Russian, Central Asian and Post-Soviet area studies. Most academic courses are taught in English, but students are welcome to enroll in courses taught in Russian, which include studio art, theater and physical education offerings. 

·       A cultural program, which will explore the culture, history, customs, cuisine and natural beauty of Kyrgyzstan and its diverse population. The cultural program includes bi-weekly organized events with outings to the specific theaters. 

·       Participation in student clubs, extracurricular activities and civic engagement projects with Russian-speaking peers from across Central Asia.

·       Volunteering and internship opportunities at various organizations in Bishkek.

The Liberal Arts Track offers classes in a wide range of subjects including anthropology, sociology, economics, international comparative politics, and environmental studies in Central Asia. Visiting students can try out new topics or continue their primary course of study in small, seminar-style classes with a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. 

The Liberal Arts Track Program Highlights

·       Academic courses from 15 undergraduate and 10 graduate degree programs. 

·       A Beginning Russian language course is available. 

·       Courses in Kyrgyz, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Turkish languages.

·       Encounter the region’s rich traditions while witnessing its democratic development

·       Students may choose from two housing options: homestay or residence hall. 

·       A cultural program provides a chance to become better acquainted with the region’s history and beauty.

·       Participation in student clubs, extracurricular activities and civic engagement projects with English-speaking peers from across Central Asia.

·       Volunteering and internship opportunities at various organizations in Bishkek.

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