13.05.2017


Moscow: Eurasian Seminar
Study in Moscow, Learn about Eurasia

 

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  The People's Friendship Fountain at VDNKh is just one of the better-known examples of multiculturalism in Moscow. The Eurasian Seminar cultural program explores many more as a part of most SRAS Moscow programs.

SRAS students in Moscow will take advantage of the city's wide cultural and educational opportunities to immerse themselves in not only Russian culture, but to better understand the wide expanse of Eurasia.

The former center of the Russian empire and the Communist bloc, Moscow remains a regional hub for a broad swath of the planet. Moscow's influence can be felt in far-off lands, but the influence of far-off lands can also be felt in Moscow.

Moscow: Eurasia Seminar is designed to be an intensive, hands-on, sensory introduction to the wide diversity of Russia and Eurasia. It is meant especially for those students interested in diplomacy, international relations, and modern Russian identity. With an additional emphasis on seeing Moscow's diversity, and on tasting the diverse culinary tradition of Eurasia, this is also meant to be an enjoyable and memorable experience for all.

 

Tentative Schedule*

 
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Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Islam
Islam has long been a politically powerful force in Russia. Tatarstan, for instance, is majority Muslim, economically successful, and has had a tendency to push for more independence within the Russian Federation. Much of the unrest in Russia's Caucasus can be linked to radical Islamic movements. Central Asia also plays a large role in Russian foreign policy as well as demographic concerns. The Russian population is, in fact, growing - but only thanks to substantial immigration from, in many cases, Muslim-majority states in Central Asia. To understand modern Russia and the challenges it faces, one needs to understand Islam in Russia and its Central Asian border regions. We will have several related events:

  1. Uzbek Welcome Dinner: staples and delicacies of Central Asia
  2. Tour of Cathedral Mosque in Moscow
  3. Seminar: Understanding Central Asia
  4. Kyrgyz Lunch
  5. Georgian Farewell Dinner
    1. Farewell Dinner includes discussion of professional opportunities in which knowledge of Eurasia and the Russian language can be used. Invited guests have included members of the US Foreign Service, translators, teachers, and members of the Moscow expat business community. 

Russian Culture and History
Russia will remain a central focus of the program, with multiple events planned. These may include:

  1. Tour of the Kremlin: Behind the Red Walls
  2. Night at the Russian Ballet
  3. Explorer Badge: Students are challenged to work together to further explore Moscow and the surrounding area. Students who complete the requirements will be presented with prizes and a special certificate at the Georgian Farewell Dinner (above).
  4. Masha's Dacha: A day trip to walk through a modern Russian village, help prepare and eat a traditional Russian lunch, drink tea from a samovar, learn traditional songs while Masha plays the accordion, and more!
  5. Tour of St. Basil's
  6. Lenin's Mausoleum
  7. Additional tours possible

Russia: Domestic and Foreign Issues
We will also explore various issues facing Moscow today and historically and discuss what is being done to address these issues. Several events are tentatively planned:

  1. Walking Seminar: The Origins of Modern Russia
  2. Seminar: Modern Russian Politics
  3. Nuclear Bunker Tour: The Cold War from the Soviet Perspective
  4. Seminar: The Russian Presidential Elections & What Comes Next (Semester Only)
  5. Seminar: Russia and the "Frozen Conflicts" (Semester Only)
  6. NGOs in Russia (2-3 meetings – may include those dealing with human rights, refugees, socially vulnerable groups, etc; Semester Only)

Central/Eastern Europe and Judaism
The Eastern Jews have long played an important part in the history and culture of Central and Eastern Europe. Traditions are shared not only between the various Slavic cultures of Poland, Ukraine, and Russia, and also between Slavic culture and Jewish culture, with their histories heavily intertwined. Further, Central and Eastern Europe continue to play important roles in Russian foreign policy. We will explore these issues with several events:

  1. Ukrainian Lunch
  2. Synagogue Tour, Kosher Lunch, and Jewish History Museum (Semester Only; RSVP and minimum numbers required)

 

2. Optional Events

 
More Information:
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Trip out of Moscow
Each semester, we offer at least one day trip to a smaller city outside of Moscow. This trip is optional and not included in your program costs, but is generally somewhere  between $40 and $80. In the past, locations have included Sergiev Posad, Tver, Star City, Abamstevo, and Borovosk. Options are generally open, so tell your SRAS consultant if you have requests!

St. Petersburg
This optional trip brings you to St. Petersburg for two to three days, depending on school schedules. Cost differs by semester, but usually ranges between $300-400 and includes train fare, hostel accommodations, and our St. Petersburg Walking Tour and Tour of the Hermitage (see our St. Petersburg Cultural Program for more information on these tours).

Other Events
Your Moscow coordinator will keep a close eye on events and let you know of other unique tours and events like Maslenitsa festivities, the annual Honey Festival, expat functions such Fourth of July celebrations and Democrats Abroad meetings, and interesting seminars. These events are often available at little or no cost.

 


*Credits: Eurasian Seminar is an experiential program resulting in a special certificate of completion for those who attend 85% of events. The seminar does not appear as an accredited course on student transcripts.

*Details: This is a tentative schedule and will be subject to change based on scheduling and total students attending. Certain events are offered only during semester sessions (as marked). This program is offered to all students on full-session programs as listed for summer or semester. Those on custom programs or shorter programs may have only part of this program available to them. Several events will be arranged during the orientation period before classes begin (generally 5-7 days before the program start). Check with you SRAS representative what the arrival date for you program will be. Students choosing to arrive later than the given arrival date or those who have delayed visas may miss these early events.



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