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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 study with courses on regional history and the specific countries and major cultures of this diverse area. A month of home stay, an extensive cultural program and educational travel to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan are included to give a deeper understanding of what locals think and how they live. Stay for an optional second semester for continued Russian language study and an internship or to complete a research project (see below).

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 Russian, Western, Chinese, and local interests mix and sometimes collide. You'll gain a wider, fuller, first-hand perspective on geopolitics and foreign relations for your future in government, business, or academia.

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- Dates and Costs -

Semester: Cost: $11,750*
     Fall: Aug 28 - Dec 17, 2017 (Apply by May 15, 2017)
     Spring: Jan 22 – May 11, 2018 (Apply by Nov 15, 2017)

Full Year: Cost: $18,750*
     Aug 28, 2015 - May 12, 2017 (Apply by May 15, 2017)

Summer: N/A - see RSL or Kyrgyz Summer Adventure


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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. Courses offered at five different levels, from beginning to advanced. For more information see SRAS's suggested syllabi for beginning (100), intermediate (200), and advanced (300/400).
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.
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. Visit Bishkek media outlets, an NGO, universities, embassies and other venues for additional discussion and perspectives. 
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.
Additional cost: cost varies by language and intensivity. Contact SRAS for more information.
Academic Hours:  Dependent on Individual Interest and Custom Course Structure  

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

More on SRAS Programs in Central Asia

Experiences Possible in Kyrgyzstan!

SRAS Students in Uzbekistan, 2011. Travel Included with this Program!


*Costs: Program costs include tuition for study as outlined, visa and registration, pre-departure materials, local orientation, health and accident insurance, use of a mobile telephone for the length of the program, round-trip airport transfers, and SRAS in-country support. Includes housing: one month of homestay and housing for the rest of the program in a dormitory; 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, although students who have taken college-level Russian and/or international relations courses are preferred.

*Course Expectations: Central Asian Studies is a highly active, 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. Transcripts may be requested (click for details) and are issued by the host university.

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