University of Montana Now Serving as
New Partner Institution for SRAS
Ona Renner-Fahey, Associate Professor of Russian,
University of Montana
| Study Abroad
Beginning spring semester 2012, the University of Montana (UM) will act as a new partner institution for an organization called The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS). SRAS is a US-based organization, in existence since 1996, which is comprised of an international team of consultants and advisors who develop and promote study abroad in Russia and Eurasia.
In 2010, the executive director of SRAS, Renee Stillings, began looking for a partner institution for a study abroad program in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan that her organization had developed and been running since 2007. The program focuses on the study of Russian language and/or Central Asian culture and is housed at a private language school called the London School of Bishkek (LSB). After running the program for a few years, Stillings decided that having a partner institution in the US would be highly advantageous. First, having an American university serve as school of record would make her program more marketable, as the process of credit transfer would be streamlined. In addition, faculty members at a US partner institution could serve in an advisory capacity in connection with such issues concerning academic rigor, as well as reviewing syllabi, student research proposals and papers, etc. Stillings then heard about UM’s Central and Southwest Asian program and realized UM might be just the partner institution she was looking for. SRAS is a highly well-known and respected organization among Russianists and, in fact, had recently coordinated UM’s faculty-led summer study-abroad program in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The partnership promises to be of great value to both SRAS and UM.
After over a year of discussions between UM and SRAS, Provost Perry J. Brown approved the partnership. An academic advisory committee of UM faculty members is currently working with SRAS on the spring program. The committee members include Dr. Ona Renner-Fahey and Dr. Clint Walker (Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures), Dr. Ardi Kia (Central and Southwest Asia Program), and Dr. Robert Greene (History).
UM students and advisors interested in finding out more about the program should contact the Office of International Programs. Students have the option of participating for a semester, an academic year, or a summer. SRAS provides: local orientation; 24-hour in-country support, including a cell phone; and cultural programs, including travel to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Internships are also available to those students who are in their second semester on the program. Additional information can be found at www.sras.org.
Find Out More!
Kyrgyz Phrase Book
The SRAS Russia Library
SRAS Travel Services
The SRAS Newsletter
Journal for Students
More Free Resources!
Questions or comments?
Contact the editor.