Bard Abroad in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Bard Abroad Summer Internship in Bishkek

4 credits

Development, Sustainability, and Conflict: Contemporary Issues in Central Asia

The eight-week summer internship program in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, offers intellectually adventurous students the opportunity to explore a fascinating country at the crossroads of powerful historical, political, economic, and cultural forces. The program combines an internship with an overarching seminar-style course and cultural excursions. Bard College is pleased to offer this opportunity in partnership with the Tian Shan Policy Center of the American University of Central Asia (AUCA).

Core Course

The Development, Sustainability, and Conflict course consists of two major components: an internship and a seminar. Students gain hands-on experience in their field of study while participating in an internship in one of two areas:

• Peace Building, Migration, and Human Rights
• Sustainable Development: Environment, Economy, Society

The seminar provides a background to the internship experience, allowing students to delve into the connections between current theory and the work of NGOs and policy organizations. Students look at topics such as citizenship participation in the post-Soviet state, human rights, development and the role of NGOs in new democracies, and the effect of globalization in Central Asia. Leaders in the NGO and policy communities will also visit the class to bring local perspective to the discussion. The course develops critical thinking, writing, and public speaking skills as well as an understanding of the dynamic forces at work in this complex region.

Cultural Program

Excursions to unique sites in Bishkek and the surrounding areas give students the opportunity to explore the fascinating history and culture of Kyrgyzstan and its role in great global movements throughout history. Beginning with the Silk Road, and moving through the “Great Game” and the country’s post-Soviet experience, students gain an understanding of Kyrgyzstan as it is today—a multicultural and multiethnic country with a complex history. Sample excursions and activities: Expand for more. Expand

Language Study

Students who have not studied Russian will be offered a survival Russian course at the beginning of the program. Optional Russian, Kyrgyz, or other regional language study is available for an additional fee.