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PROGRAMS  / CENTRAL ASIAN STUDIES
 
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Central Asian Studies
Geopolitics and Identity

Central Asian Studies is an innovative program preparing students for international careers. Based in the fascinating and historically significant region of Central Asia, this program combines intensive language or linguistics study with courses on regional history and cultures.

Semester students delve deep into geopolitical policy. Look closely at the interests of major players such as the US, Russia, and China as well as the many issues arising from relations with bordering nations. Educational travel to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan will give a broader understanding of the connections - and conflicts - between these countries and cultures. Stay for an optional second semester for continued language study and an internship or to complete a research project.

Summer students focus on how issues of identity and ethnicity currently affect Kyrgyzstan and its diverse demographics. Students chose from two tracks: - either broadly studying culture, clan structure, history, language, art, folk crafts, and cuisine - or focusing deeply on linguistic anthropology in Kyrgyzstan. Urban/rural divides are also discussed in both options with a week-long horseback trek into the mountains of Kyrgyzstan to directly introduce students to modern nomads and their way of life. 

Central Asian Studies is for adventurous students looking to understand a militarily and economically vital part of the world where Islam and Christianity, as well as the interests of global and local groups mix and sometimes collide. You'll gain a wider, fuller, first-hand perspective on geopolitics and societal formation for your future in government, business, or academia.

Jump to: Requirements; Photos.

 

Dates, Costs, and Courses
- Click below for full information on the courses -

Semester: Focus on Geopolitics
                  18 US Credits

Fall: Cost: $11,750
     Aug 27 - Dec 14, 2018  (Apply by May 15, 2018)

Spring: Cost: $11,750
    
 Jan 29 – May 18, 2018  (Apply by Nov 15, 2017)

Full Year:
Cost: $18,750*
      Aug 27, 2018 - May 18, 2019  (Apply by May 15, 2018)

Semester Courses:

RS-100/200/300/400 Russian Language Study

Russian is a still a lingua franca for politics and business in Central Asia and thus forms the foundation for Central Asian Studies. Small, intensive classes. Students at 300-level or above may choose from electives in political/economic language, literature and film, language of the media, or regional history (in Russian).
Academic Hours:  168 (12 US semester credits)

CA-371: The New Great Game
This course offers an overview of the New Great Game as a renewed struggle for hegemony and control over natural resources in Central Asia between competing global powers, the Central Asian republics themselves, and neighboring states. Students should purchase the required books before departing the US.
Academic Hours:  56 (3 US semester credits)

CA-372: Understanding Central Asia
This course offers a broad overview of the cultural and social as well as the historical and religious dimensions of Central Asia, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, in addition to Afghanistan because of its influential role in greater Eurasia. Attention is given to the media, civil society, gender, and religious environment in these countries. 
Academic Hours:  56 (3 US semester credits)

CA-372b: Central Asian Lab
Students will learn about the music, handicrafts, and cooking of various Central Asian cultures through hands-on, language-based classes. Weekly guest speakers and roundtable discussions with Central Asian students provide further insight into contemporary life and politics in the region. Visit additional sites of historical, cultural, political or other interest near Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan as listed in greater detail here.
Academic Hours:  N/A  

CA-372c: Travel Study
Visit two of Central Asia’s largest economies and one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Spend two weeks touring major cities and the countrysides of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan visiting major sites, meeting locals, and learning the culture through hands-on activities.
Academic Hours:  N/A

Optional: Central Asian Languages
Study languages spoken in Central Asia. Choose from Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Kazakh, Tadjik, Turkmen. Focus on one language or study multiple languages. These will be taught in small groups or individually, depending on availability. These courses may replace some or all of the Russian language study component of this program.

CA-351: Internship
Available only to second-semester students
Study the issues of concern to today's Central Asia by working at a local NGO, business, or media outlet. Or, delve further into the history with work at a local museum. Or, meet and host discussions with locals by teaching at a local educational institution. We will discuss with you midway through the first semester what your interests and goals are and begin searching for an appropriate internship for your second semester.
Academic Hours:  Dependent on Individual Internship   

CA-352 Research Project
Available only to second semester students
Conduct field or archival research in Kyrgyzstan on a subject of your choice. Students will submit a project proposal in advance, which will be discussed with SRAS staff to hone its methodology and focus. The project must result in a paper of at least 15 pages.
Academic Hours:  Dependent on Individual Project
 

Summer: Focus on Ethnicity and Identity
                5-17 US Credits

Full Summer (10 weeks): Cost: $7,990
     May 28 - Aug 5, 2018  (Apply by: March 1, 2018)

Mid Summer (5 weeks): Cost: $4,495
     June 18 - July 22, 2018  (Apply by: April 15, 2018)

Included with all standard summer programs:

CA-121: Central Asian Lab

Students will learn about the music, handicrafts, and cooking of various Central Asian cultures through hands-on, language-based classes. Guest speakers and roundtable discussions with Central Asian students provide further insight into contemporary life and politics in the region. Visit additional sites of historical, cultural, political or other interest near Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan as listed in greater detail here.
Academic Hours:  N/A 

CA-122: Travel Study: Mountain Trek
Spend seven days trekking the mountains of Kyrgyzstan on horseback. Discover first-hand what living a nomadic lifestyle in the modern era is like. Meet and visit local nomads along the way and learn how they live. Note: You will be provided with a detailed packing list before departing to Kyrgyzstan so that you will be prepared for this.
Academic Hours:  N/A

Students will choose one option:


- Option 1
RS-100/200/300/400 Russian Language Study

Russian is a still a lingua franca for politics and business in Central Asia and thus forms the foundation for Central Asian Studies. Small, intensive classes. Students at 300-level or above may choose from electives in political/economic language, literature and film, language of the media, or regional history (in Russian).
Academic Hours:
               Mid Summer: 80 (4 US semester credits)
               Full Summer: 180 (14 US semester credits)


RS-373 Identity and Ethnicity in Central Asia

Examine cultural elements that unite and divide society in modern Central Asia. Overview of ethnicity and ethnic divides in Central Asia, their historical roots and modern issues. Explore cultural elements that contribute to identity formation in modern Kyrgyzstan, including an overview of the Kyrgyz language as well as traditional Kyrgyz foods, holidays, music, and storytelling. Focus on the social divisions that arise due to the Kyrgyzstan's traditional clan structure and modern urban/rural differences. Meet locals and experience the cultural elements first-hand through workshops, guest lectures, and field trips.
Credits: Base course is 2 US semester credits. Students doing the full summer session may earn 3 credits with a more extensive research component. Course is held in its entirety over the four-week period, meaning students on either time frame will take the full course. This applies to CA121 and CA122 above as well.

 
- Option 2

RS-374 Linguistic Anthropology in Central Asia
This course offers an introduction to the foundational relationship between language and culture by examining anthropological approaches to the study of language. Learn how language both reflects and creates thought, culture, and power relations. This course will offer a Kyrgyz-focus, covering all material in RS-373, above. It will also overview how Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen, and Uzbek are used in and are shaped by social, cultural, and individual processes to convey culture, thought, ethnicity, religion, status, and gender.
Credits: Base course is 4 US semester credit. Course is held in its entirety over the four-week period, meaning students on either time frame will take the full course. This applies to CA121 and CA122 above as well.

RS-100/200/300/400 Russian Language Study
Russian is a still a lingua franca for politics and business in Central Asia and thus forms the foundation for Central Asian Studies. Small, intensive classes. Students at 300-level or above may choose from electives in political/economic language, literature and film, language of the media, or regional history (in Russian).
Academic Hours:
               Mid Summer: N/A
               Full Summer: 100 (8 US semester credits)

 

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Photos from our Students in Bishkek

 

Photos from Students on CA-372c: Travel Study
This Travel Included with Central Asian Studies!

 

Video on SRAS Programs in Bishkek
Note: Central Asian Studies (Summer) is the successor course to Kyrgyz Summer Adventure

 

Program Details

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Costs: Program costs include tuition for study as outlined, visa extensions and registration, pre-departure materials, local orientation, health and accident insurance, use of a mobile telephone for the duration of the program, round-trip airport transfers, and SRAS in-country support. Includes housing: one month of homestay and dormitory housing for the remainder of the program; breakfast and supper included with home stay.

*Prerequisites: Minimum GPA of 2.5 overall and 3.0 in major courses. No prior knowledge of Russian required. Some background (courses and/or experience) in Russian language, regional studies or international relations helpful. 

*Course Expectations: Central Asian Studies is an intensive, participatory course. Students will be expected to come to all classes and events prepared as instructed and ready to discuss the material or subject at hand.

*Credit Transfer and Transcripts: The transcript for the program is issued by University of Montana, a national and international leader in recognizing the significance of Central & Southwest Asia. How many credits your home university may award depends entirely on your home university. SRAS recommends discussing this with your advisor and SRAS before you apply. Students planning on applying for credit transfer must read our FAQ page for more info. 




2015-02-04 - Central Asian Studies Textbooks