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*WCU Summer in Kyrgyzstan: Geography and Sustainability in Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 03/01/2018 ** Rolling Admission 06/09/2018 06/23/2018
NOTE: Please note that dates and costs are tentative and subject to change. Contact the Program Director listed below to confirm the information.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Housing Options: Other (see "accommodations" section below for details)
Max Credits Offered: 3 Area of Study: Cultural Studies, Environment, Geography
Program Type: WCU Faculty/Staff-Led Program Abroad Credit Type: Direct WCU Credit
Available to Non-WCU Students?: Yes Faculty/Staff Director: Megan Heckert
College: Business & Public Management
Program Description:
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
This program is designed to introduce students to the history, environment, and culture of Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic in central Asia. As we travel through the country, students will learn about how the physical environment of Kyrgyzstan and its tenure in the Soviet Union have shaped Kyrgyz culture and current environmental and economic conditions. We will learn about specific environmental concerns and some of the efforts being made to address them. We will further explore issues of environmental justice and how environmental concerns go hand in hand with issues of poverty and economic development.
 
Trip activities include time in the capital city of Bishkek with a visit to the American University of Central Asia, time on the shores of Lake Issyk Kul, the second-largest saline lake in the world, and a short stay at a jailoo – a summer pasture for shepherd families. We will explore several sites that chronicle the Soviet history and influence in the region.

LOCATION
The trip will take place in the central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan. During the course of the trip we will travel to several locations in the country including Bishkek, Cholpon-Ata, Karakol, Jyrgalan Valley, Son-Kul Lake, and Chon-Kemin Valley. 

Learn more about the program's itinerary and locations by visiting the Kyrgyzstan interactive StoryMap!
 
ACCOMMODATION
Accommodations will vary throughout the trip and will include shared hotel rooms, home stays, and two nights in a shared yurt. Be advised that while all living conditions are quite safe, they reflect the Kyrgyz way of life and may be seen by some Americans as “roughing it”. In some, but not all, locations, we will sleep on mats on the floor or ground, and the 2 nights in the yurt village will be without electricity or running water.
 
LANGUAGE
All instruction for this program will be conducted in English. No prior language experience is required, but there will be opportunities to speak in Russian.
 
COURSE INFORMATION

Participants will earn credit for GEO 304: Geography of Asia (3 credits). This course carries Russian Culture Cluster designation.
 
EXAMPLES OF POSSIBLE EXCURSIONS
Son-Kol Lake: We will spend two nights and one day at a jailoo – a summer pasture in the mountains. We will sleep as the Kyrgyz do in yurts – portable tent-like structures. We will spend a full-day for observing and experiencing nomadic lifestyle, interacting with shepherds and their families, watch them run household duties like milking mares, making Kymyz (a culturally important drink of fermented mare’s milk), taking part in preparing food, taking care of livestock etc.
 
Falcon hunting: At the village of Bokonbayevo on the southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul we will visit a local Burkutchu (falcon hunter) who will tell the story of falconry and its historic meaning to the Kyrgyz people.
 
Kyrgyz feast: A host family in the town of Orgachor will teach us about the Kyrgyz toi – a day long feast of celebration. We will learn to cook several Kyrgyz dishes and learn about the significance of hospitality in Kyrgyz culture.
 
PROGRAM OPTIONS
Optional activities (cost not included in program fee) include a boating excursion at Lake Issyk Kul and horseback riding in Chon Kemin Valley.
 
PROGRAM COSTS

In addition to the regular WCU tuition/fees for the 3 credit hour course, all participants will pay a program fee of $1,450 which includes all instruction and housing for the duration of the program, all excursions, and in-country ground transportation. All breakfasts, 12 dinners, and 5 lunches will be provided. In addition, all students will be billed the non-refundable $100 study abroad application fee upon applying to the program and will be required to purchase the mandatory WCU international insurance post-acceptance (estimated around $45).
 
Additional costs not included in the program fee above include the round-trip airline ticket (approximately $1,100), additional meals not included in the costs above, and personal spending money.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Prof. Megan Heckert
mheckert@wcupa.edu
610-436-1036