Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: SRAS 
  • Restrictions: Iowa State applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2020 15-May-2020 ** Rolling Admission 22-Aug-2020 13-Dec-2020
Spring 2021 01-Oct-2020 02-Oct-2020 TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students 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:
Fact Sheet:
Study Abroad Adviser: Guthrie, Nancy, Nally, Ginger Housing Options: Dormitory, Homestay
Language of Instruction: English, Russian Host Country Language: Russian
Click here for a definition of this term Sponsor: SRAS Click here for a definition of this term ISU Course: INTED
Program Description:

Central Asian Studies

Beyond the Great Game


Central Asian Studies is an innovative program preparing students for international careers. Based in the fascinating and historically significant region of Central Asia, this program combines intensive language study with courses on regional history and the specific countries and major cultures of this diverse area. A month of home stay, an extensive cultural program and educational travel to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are included to give a deeper understanding of what locals think and how they live. Stay for an optional second semester for continued language study and an internship or to complete a research project (see below).


Central Asian Studies is for adventurous students looking to understand a militarily and economically vital part of the world where Islam and Christianity, as well as Russian, Western, Chinese, and local interests mix and sometimes collide. You'll gain a wider, fuller, first-hand perspective on geopolitics and foreign relations for your future in government, business, or academia.


- Curriculum -


RS-100/200/300 Russian Language Study 

Russian is a still a lingua franca for politics and business in Central Asia and thus forms the foundation for Central Asian Studies. Courses offered at five different levels, from beginning to advanced.

Academic Hours:  Semester: 168;  Summer: 48


CA-301: The New Great Game

This course offers an overview of the New Great Game as a renewed struggle for hegemony and control over natural resources in Central Asia between competing global powers, the Central Asian republics themselves, and neighboring states.

Academic Hours:  Semester: 56;  Summer: See CA-302


CA-302: Understanding Central Asia

This course offers a broad overview of the cultural and social as well as the historical and religious dimensions of Central Asia, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, in addition to Afghanistan because of its influential role in greater Eurasia. Attention is given to the media, civil society, gender, and religious environment in these countries. Visit Bishkek media outlets, an NGO, universities, embassies and other venues for additional discussion and perspectives. The summer session of this course includes a brief overview of "The New Great Game" - see CA-301.

Academic Hours:  Semester: 56;  Summer: 48


CA-302L: Central Asian Lab

Students will learn about the music, handicrafts, and cooking of various Central Asian cultures through hands-on, language-based classes. Weekly guest speakers and roundtable discussions with Central Asian students provide further insight into contemporary life and politics in the region.

Academic Hours:  N/A 


CA-303: Travel Study: Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan

Visit two of Central Asia’s largest economies and one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Spend two weeks touring major cities and the countrysides of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan touring major sites, meeting locals, and learning the culture through hands-on activities. Students will be required to keep a journal of their experiences and cultural observations of both countries. Advanced speakers should keep the journal in Russian, others may keep the journal in English.

Academic Hours:  N/A


CA-100/200/300: Central Asian Languages

Available only to second-semester students

Study languages spoken in Central Asia. Choose from Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Kazakh, Tadjik, Turkmen and/or Russian.  Focus on one language or study multiple languages. These will be taught in small groups or individually, depending on availability.

Academic Hours:  Dependent on Individual Interest and Custom Course Structure    


CA-351: Internship

Available only to second-semester students

Study the issues of concern to today's Central Asia by working at a local NGO, business, or media outlet. Or, delve further into the history with work at a local museum. Or, meet and host discussions with locals by teaching at a local educational institution. We will discuss with you midway through the first semester what your interests and goals are and begin searching for an appropriate internship for your second semester.

Academic Hours:  Dependent on Individual Internship  


CA-352 Research Project

Available only to second semester students

Conduct field or archival research in Kyrgyzstan on a subject of your choice. Students will submit a project proposal in advance, which will be discussed with SRAS staff to hone its methodology and focus. The project must result in a paper of at least 15 pages, to be delivered in final form no later than 45 days after the program ends. Final grades for this course are not given until the paper is turned in and evaluated.

Academic Hours:  Dependent on Individual Project

For more information, and to apply, click here.