Siberian Summer Adventure A Cultural and Environmental Trip!
& The Baikal Reserve
More Environmental Programs from SRAS
Every summer, the Great Baikal Trail (GBT) leads international groups into the Baikal wilderness to build trails and other infrastructure to support ecotourism. Participants spend six hours a day working, have all meals provided, and spend the rest of their time socializing with Russians and other members of the crew. You'll also enjoy a cultural program and take advantage of the gorgeous outdoor wilderness.
The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) has partnered with GBT to provide any interested volunteer with a well-rounded educational experience and unforgettable summer adventure in Siberia.
Students will prepare with intensive courses in Russian language and covering the specific environmental challenges facing Siberia over four weeks. Then, put your language skills to use and gain first hand knowledge of the local environment when you join GBT on a trail building expedition for two weeks!
RS-100/200/300 Russian Language Study Courses offered at six different levels. For intermediate and advanced Russian speakers, a focus of the course will be on building vocabulary related to environmental issues. Students will be encouraged to implement these skills by volunteering as translators or language assistants during the GBT portion of the program. Academic Hours: 80*
RS-312: Siberian Environmental History Siberia's environmental problems caused by the transition from a planned economy to a free market economy and what the government, businesses, and NGOs are doing about it. This course is taught in the first part of the program. Academic Hours: 32*
RS-312b: Culture Lab More Information Excursions, seminars, and other out-of-the-classroom experiences at locations of historical, cultural, environmental, or other interest. Also includes a brief seminar covering the major issues currently faced by Lake Baikal and the organizations working to resolve or alleviate those issues.
GBT Trail Building Expedition Volunteers will spend approximately two weeks performing tasks such as carving trail beds, clearing fallen trees and dwarf pines from the trail, building new trail, constructing small bridges and dikes, and more! Participants live on the trail, residing in tent camps (equipment provided).
*Prerequisites: 3.0 GPA in core classes. Applicants need not be currently enrolled in a university program. All applicants must be high school graduates. No prior knowledge of Russian required, but is preferred. All sessions are in English, whether spoken directly or through an interpreter. See below for more details on this program.
*About the Program: This is a relatively small program which focuses on maintaining an active group dynamic. SRAS will introduce you electronically to other students arriving on this program before your departure. Shortly after you arrive for your program, you will be placed for language lessons according to your language level, as determined by a short written or oral exam. Depending on your level, you may be placed in a group that is already formed, or with other newly arrived language students of the same level. During the first part of the program, intensive language courses and some cultural excursions, including to environmentally important locations will be held. During the second half of the course, you will join a trail-building session under the auspices of GBT.
*About the SRAS-GBT Relationship: Participants joining through SRAS will pay only those fees listed on the SRAS site. Only those participants joining through SRAS are eligible for financial aid as offered by SRAS.
*Academic Hours: An academic hour is 40 minutes. Totals listed are minimum hours for full-semester or summer-session courses. See our FAQ page and/or contact SRAS for more information.
*Credit Transfer and Transcripts: While this program is designed to be the equivalent of 6-9 credits, 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.