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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Irkutsk, Russia
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: The School of Russian and Asian Studies 
  • Restrictions: Iowa State applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Study Abroad Adviser: Guthrie, Nancy Housing Options: Dormitory, Homestay
Language of Instruction: English, Russian Host Country Language: Russian
Sponsor: Iowa State ISU Course: INTED
Program Description:

Siberian Summer Adventure

A Cultural and Envrionmental Trip!


Every summer, the Great Baikal Trail (GBT) leads international groups into the Baikal wilderness to build trails and other infrastructure to support ecotourism. Participants spend six hours a day working, have all meals provided, and spend the rest of their time socializing with Russians and other members of the crew. You'll also enjoy a cultural program and take advantage of the gorgeous outdoor wilderness.


The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) has partnered with GBT to provide any interested volunteer with a well-rounded educational experience and unforgettable summer adventure in Siberia.


Students will prepare with intensive courses in Russian language and covering the specific environmental challenges facing Siberia. Then, put your language skills to use and gain first hand knowledge of the local environment when you join GBT on a trail building expedition!


- Curriculum -


RS-100/200/300 Russian Language Study

Courses offered at six different levels. For intermediate and advanced Russian speakers, a focus of the course will be on building vocabulary related to environmental issues. Students will be encouraged to implement these skills by volunteering as translators or language assistants during the GBT portion of the program.

Academic Hours: 80


SS-312: Siberian Environmental History

Siberia's environmental problems caused by the transition from a planned economy to a free market economy and what the government, businesses, and NGOs are doing about it. This course is taught in the first part of the program.

Academic Hours: 32


RS-312b: Culture Lab

Excursions, seminars, and other out-of-the-classroom experiences at locations of historical, cultural, environmental, or other interest. Also includes a brief seminar covering the major issues currently faced by Lake Baikal and the organizations working to resolve or alleviate those issues.


GBT Trail Building Expedition

The project will take place within the Baikalskiy National Natural Reserve, within a forested area near the Osinovka River and some 9 km north of Tankhoi Village, with its 1,300 mainly Russian and Buryat residents. Volunteers will carve the trail bed, clear fallen trees and dwarf pines from the trail, build new trail, construct small bridges and dikes, and more! More information on the project can be viewed on the GBT site.


- Application Requirements -


Applicants need not be currently enrolled in a university program. All applicants must be high school graduates. No prior knowledge of Russian required, but is preferred. All sessions are in English, whether spoken directly or through an interpreter.


For more information, and to apply, click here.

This program is currently not accepting applications.