The Development, Environment, and Social Change Practicum consists of two major components: a practicum and a seminar. Students gain first-hand exposure to key development stakeholders - local as well as international - in the region. The modular coursework offers an inter-disciplinary scaffolding for critical reflection and thoughtful analysis. The course readings provide a theoretical and methodological foundation for the participants to delve into the connections between theory and the work of NGOs and policy organizations in Kyrgyzstan's dynamic multi-ethnic society. North American students enroll in this practicum alongside AUCA students - enabling a rich environment for diverse view-point and cross-cultural perspectives on global issues. Course readings and group project topics might include 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. Thought leaders in the NGO and policy communities will also visit the group to bring local perspectives to the discussion. The course develops critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills as well as an understanding of the dynamic forces at work in this complex region.
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.
This distinctive program offers intellectually curious students an unparalleled academic experience: the chance to study with Palestinian students at a college dedicated to the pursuit of intellectual inquiry, the promotion of critical thinking, and the open exchange of ideas and opinions.
The Al-Quds Bard College for Liberal Arts and Sciences, located in Abu Dis, a neighborhood of East Jerusalem, is at the vanguard of liberal education in Palestine. As a result, it is a dynamic and intriguing location to spend a semester abroad.
Participants in the Al-Quds Bard Study Abroad Program will:
--Attend academically challenging classes taught in a seminar style, including courses analyzing a range of discourses surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;
--Build meaningful connections with Palestinian students, both inside and outside the classroom;
--Sharpen Arabic language skills, acquiring the vocabulary necessary to navigate daily life;
--Undertake an internship, putting into practice theories and ideas from readings and classroom debates; and
--Live in a historical Palestinian city. Participate in cultural excursions to important historical sites like the Dead Sea, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem.
Our interdisciplinary curriculum combines the best traditions of the Palestinian and U.S. educational traditions drawing on progressive trends. Faculty are respected scholars, theorists, writers, and artists who balance active research with commitment to excellence in teaching and advising. Seminar-style classes taught in English emphasize writing and critical thinking. Students are required to take an intensive colloquial Arabic course and are encouraged to take a Modern Standard Arabic class.
Participants in the Al-Quds Bard Study Abroad Program also have access to a wide array of academic and cultural events, including: lectures, film screenings, field trips, symposia, workshops, and social events. Students interested in gaining practical experience outside of the classroom can deepen their inquiry through optional internships in their field of study.
The AUCA-Bard Study Abroad Program offers intellectually adventurous students a unique opportunity to study side by side, in English, with peers from 25 different countries at the region's most prestigious university.
Students interested in Central Asian Studies, Soviet Studies, or Russian and Central Asian languages will find the Bard Abroad in Bishkek program provides an exciting and rigorous liberal arts curriculum that develops students' skills and cultural aptitude; both of which will foster sensitivity to the region's rich traditions, as well as an adaptability to its democratic development.