What Students Say about the AUCA-Bard Program
"What can I say about ACUA? I had the time of my life! Years preceding my semester abroad in Kyrgyzstan, I could not have foreshadowed I, at the tender age of 21, would be sipping Kumis, listening to the age-old melodies of the Kyrgyz Komuz and living and learning in a major hub along the ancient silk road. Above all, AUCA cultivates a friendly, safe and intellectually stimulating environment where students with similar interests, but different backgrounds and cultural sensibilities, come together as a model for the ever-developing, globalizing and interconnected world we all live in today. While embodying peace, respect for diversity and love, AUCA ultimately lays the ground work for students and professors to build lasting, deep and memorable experiences and relationships. Is this not the point to life? Men seni suyom AUCA!"
-- Max Jacob Gelber
University of Florida
East Asian Languages, Literature and Culture '12
"One of the most impressive aspects of my experience in Kyrgyzstan was my introduction to a culture with which I was entirely unfamiliar; not simply Kyrgyz culture, but Central Asian culture as a whole. The longer I spent in Kyrgyzstan with other students from various Central Asian countries, the more I realized that there is a collective Central Asian identity that is entirely unlike those of Western cultures. Although there is certainly tension between the different 'Stans,' the students who came together at AUCA were still able to relate to each other based on their shared histories.
...Even more impressive, however, was that the students at AUCA welcomed us (the Americans) not only because of their interest in America and our society, but also because many were simply gracious, open-minded and accepting people. I hope that the wonderful Central Asian friends I made will be life-long, as they had an immense influence on me, and have helped me become a much more confident and accepting person."
-- Haley Bader
Bard College '13
What Students Say about AUCA
"What would make an American student want to travel all the way to the other side of the globe, to the tiny, but beautiful country called Kyrgyzstan? That would be: the American University of Central Asia. What is AUCA? It is one of the few colleges in Central Asia where students are taught in English, and one of the few schools where students from the post-Soviet bloc are able to receive a liberal arts education. If you have ever wondered about how democratization happens in the authoritarian states, AUCA is the right place for you to visit. This university was established in Kyrgyzstan in 1993, 2 years after our country got its independence, and since then AUCA has produced innovative graduates who are willing to promote democracy in Central Asia.
Students from all over Central Asia study at AUCA, including students coming from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Korea, China, and many other countries. AUCA's student body is diverse, and when you enter the doors of our university you can feel an atmosphere of intercultural friendship and positive energy. Student life here will never allow you to be bored or lonely. Different student organizations, clubs, different fun events, parties, and competitions will allow you to stay involved and discover new facts about yourself.
-- Asem Asfandiarova and Esen Rysbekov,
two AUCA students who studied for an academic year at Bard College
“...AUCA is a wonderfully diverse university in which one can experience cultures from all over the world in a non-discriminating and uniquely accepting collegiate society. I have had the great pleasure of learning more than I can take in about Kyrgyz culture, Russian and Kyrgyz languages, and my undergraduate oriented coursework. The university is in the heart of an industrially, politically, and globally developing country, and it is unlike any other university in the world. AUCA offers a unique and once in a lifetime experience to every potential student who walks through its doors and engages in this thriving community of developing world leaders.”