SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM IN CENTRAL ASIA
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Development, Sustainability, and Conflict: Contemporary Issues in Central Asia
This eight-week summer program in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, offers intellectually adventurous students the opportunity to explore a fascinating country at the crossroads of powerful historical, political, economic, and cultural forces. The program combines unique internship opportunities with an overarching seminar-style course and cultural excursions. Bard College is pleased to offer this new opportunity with the Tian Shan Policy Center of the American University of Central Asia, a Bard-affiliated liberal arts university.
The Development, Sustainability, and Conflict course consists of two major components: an internship and a seminar. Students gain hands-on experience in their field of study while participating in an internship in one of two areas:
• Peace Building, Migration, and Human Rights
• Sustainable Development: Environment, Economy, Society
The seminar provides a background to the internship experience, allowing students to delve into the connections between current theory and the work of NGOs and policy organizations. Students look at topics such as citizenship participation in the post-Soviet state, human rights, development and the role of NGOs in new democracies, and the effect of globalization in Central Asia. Leaders in the NGO and policy communities will also visit the class to bring local perspective to the discussion. The course develops critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills as well as an understanding of the dynamic forces at work in this complex region.
Excursions to unique sites in Bishkek and the surrounding areas give students the opportunity to explore the fascinating history and culture of Kyrgyzstan and its role in great global movements throughout history. Beginning with the Silk Road, and moving through the “Great Game” and the country’s post-Soviet experience, students gain an understanding of Kyrgyzstan as it is today—a multicultural and multiethnic country with a complex history. Sample excursions and activities:
• A trip to Lake Issyk-Kul, a spectacular alpine lake in the Tian Shan mountain range, where students can see petroglyphs from the Turkic era and go swimming
• A visit with nomadic sheepherders in a yurt village
• Travel to a nearby city in Kyrgyzstan
• A camping excursion by horseback, with an overnight stay in yurts
• Expeditions to sites of traditional falconry, folklore, and horse games
Students who have not studied Russian will be offered a survival Russian course at the beginning of the program. Optional Russian, Kyrgyz, or other regional language study is available for an additional fee.
Students live in the AUCA dormitory with Kyrgyz and other international students or off campus with host families. Both options allow students to discover and participate in the daily routines of peers and local residents.
4 credits from Bard College
June - July (8 weeks)