Summer Internship Program

Development, Sustainability, and Conflict: Contemporary Issues in Central Asia

The eight-week summer internship program in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, offers intellectually adventurous students the opportunity to explore a fascinating country at the crossroads of powerful historical, political, economic, and cultural forces. The program combines unique internship experiences with an overarching seminar-style course and cultural excursions. Bard College is pleased to offer this opportunity in partnership with the Tian Shan Policy Center of the American University of Central Asia (AUCA).

Download: Summer2014Newsletter.pdf

Internship and Seminar Course

The Development, Sustainability, and Conflict course consists of two major components: an internship and a seminar. Students gain hands-on experience in their field of study while participating in an internship in one of two areas:

  • Peace Building, Migration, and Human Rights
  • Sustainable Development: Environment, Economy, Society
The seminar provides a background to the internship experience, allowing students to delve into the connections between current theory and the work of NGOs and policy organizations. Students look at topics 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. Leaders in the NGO and policy communities will also visit the class to bring local perspective 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.

Cultural Program

Excursions to unique sites in Bishkek and the surrounding area give students the opportunity to explore the fascinating history and culture of Kyrgyzstan and its role in great global movements throughout history.  Beginning with the Silk Road, and moving through the "Great Game" and the country's post-Soviet experience, students gain an understanding of Kyrgyzstan as it is today - a multicultural and multiethnic country with a complex history.  

Excursions and activities may include:

  • A trip to lake Issyk-Kul, a spectacular alpine lake in the Tian Shan mountain range, where students can see petroglyphs from the Turkik era and go swimming
  • A visit with nomadic sheephearders in a yurt village
  • Travel to a nearby city in Kyrgyzstan
  • A camping trip by horseback, with an overnight stay in yurts
  • Expeditions to sites of traditional falconry, folklore, and horse games

Language Study

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.


Students live the AUCA dormitory with Kyrgyz and other international students or off campus with host families.  Both options allow students to discover and participate in the daily routines of peers and local residents.

Program Dates, Costs and Scholarships

The 8-week program is offered from early June through late July. Summer 2014 Estimated Dates - June 4th to July 30th

Estimated Costs
Fees vary from year to year, and are subject to change at the discretion of the program.

Summer 2014 Costs - $3,800

Tuition includes program orientation, academic instruction, peer tutoring, international health insurance, extra-curricular activities, and our extensive cultural program. Tuition does not include airfare. A preferred flight for students wishing to be met at the airport may be announced.

Additional personal expenses will vary. Students’ main expenses include but are not limited to: meals, international telephone calls, cost of cellular phone calls (a cell phone is provided), transportation, entertainment, etc.

Bard College has limited scholarships available for students demonstrating financial need. Instructions for the financial aid application are available within the primary program application.

How to Apply

The Bard-AUCA Summer Internship Program application is due March 1st. The application is currently available online.

Apply now!

For more Information, please contact us at the Institute for International Liberal Education at Bard College.