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 Bard-Smolny Summer Language Intensive (SLI) provides challenging courses for students who have completed between two and six semesters of college-level Russian or its equivalent. Students can choose to enroll for four or eight weeks; the four-week program focuses on solidifying language concepts already covered while improving language skills, and the eight-week program is the equivalent of one year of Russian at a North American institution and covers text such as V Puti: Russian Grammar in Context and materials developed by Russian as a Second Language faculty. Students' Russian level will be measured with a short assessment administered at the time of application.
The SLI is intensive, with 22 hours of class per week, daily quizzes and written assignments, and weekly tests. Class sizes are small (typically 8 to 10 students) with course work that emphasizes vocabulary acquisition, grammar comprehension, reading improvement, and writing achievement, as well as verbal and aural precision. Language is taught in conjunction with our cultural program, which integrates academic experience with a feel for the city of St. Petersburg. Course work for upper-level students includes a thematic workshop that focuses on language learning through content-specific instruction, such as Russian history and literature.