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Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Program Dates:

June 14 - August 16, 2018

Hosting Institution:

American University of Central Asia

Program Overview

Program Overview

The CLS institute in Bishkek is designed to cover the equivalent of one academic year of university-level Russian study during the 8-week program, and is designed to meet the needs of students from a range of language levels and backgrounds. Students range in proficiency and experience from those who have completed the minimum required two years of college-level study or the equivalent, to heritage speakers already at an advanced level of proficiency.

Students take classes at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA), an international, multi-disciplinary learning community in the American liberal arts tradition, which was founded in 1993.

During the academic year, Russian language instructors at AUCA teach foreign students from around the world in various levels of Russian language instruction. Formal classroom instruction focuses on developing language skills through a range of methods including reading and understanding various texts, participation in discussions, and understanding of popular culture and news materials.

Cultural excursions, lectures, and other enrichment activities are designed to support and enhance language learning and exposure to the host culture. Activities that students may enjoy in Bishkek include: visiting the Gapar Aitiev Fine Arts Museum, attending a concert at the Kyrgyz State Philharmonic Hall, learning about traditional handicrafts making such as felt rugs, and visiting the mountains that provide a backdrop to the city including a visit to Ala-Archa National Park.

CLS students in Bishkek will get to experience daily life in the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic. With a population of over one million people, Bishkek is the largest city in the Kyrgyz Republic and the streets and parks are filled with local families enjoying walks, especially in the summer. Bishkek is a city of wide boulevards and most are lined with trees to provide shade in the hot summer. The central Ala-Too Square features unique marble-faced public buildings, while the rest of the city is a combination of Soviet-style apartment blocks surrounding interior courtyards and new luxury high rise apartment buildings.

Students on the CLS program in Bishkek live with host families and meet regularly with language partners for more conversational practice and immersion in local life. Students may enjoy nightly dinners and conversation over tea with their host families, as well as exploring the city and its surrounding countryside together. Language partners may introduce CLS students to local youth culture by going to one of the city’s many cozy and unique cafes or spending time walking along Bishkek’s Erkindik Boulevard, a popular spot for locals.

Learn more about American University of Central Asia.