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xSummer 2017 Application Open! Start your application for the Peace & Security in the South Caucasus Program here. Applications are due by February 15, 2017.

Peace & Security in the South Caucasus

This summer, spend five weeks in Tbilisi, Georgia studying the politics, culture, and history of the South Caucasus; gain new insight into the complex factors shaping current events; live with specially selected host families; and engage in dynamic discussions with local activists and experts committed to fostering peace throughout the region.

Program Description

Peace & Security in the South CaucasusThe South Caucasus have taken on unprecedented strategic and political importance for Russia, NATO, and the U.S. in recent years. While rich in natural resources, scenic beauty, and vibrant cultures, the region continues to be hampered by age-old conflicts and political instability. Based in Tbilisi, Georgia, this five-week summer program explores cultural identity and nationalism, development strategies, the emergence of new political systems and parties, and ongoing efforts to foster peace throughout the region.

Program Components

AcademicsAcademics

The academic program provides approximately twenty-two hours per week of in-class instruction. It consists of a major course exploring the politics of the South Caucasus, a minor course in society and culture and an introductory language course. The major course covers topics such as modern political history of the region, security issues, state building and democratization. The society and culture course addresses issues of nationalism, religion, gender and identity. The language course offers the opportunity to study basic Azeri, Chechen, Georgian, or Russian based on the participant’s preference. All classes are conducted in English by expert faculty of Ilia State University with extensive experience teaching foreign students.

  • Geopolitics, Conflict and Development in the South Caucasus - 50 academic hours
    (4 undergraduate or 5 graduate credits)

    Module 1: Political History of the Caucasus (up to 1991)
    Module 2: Conflict, Security, and Geopolitics
    Module 3: Democratization and Political Development
    Module 4: Energy and Economics of Transition
  • Society and Culture in the South Caucasus - 20 academic hours
    (2 undergraduate or 2.5 graduate credits)

    Module 1: Nationalism and Identity
    Module 2: Religion and Identity
    Module 3: Gender Issues
    Module 4: Social Issues and the Arts
  • Language Course - 20 academic hours
    (2 undergraduate or 2.5 graduate credits)

    Choice of Azeri, Chechen, Georgian, or Russian
    (Language courses are geared toward each student’s proficiency level; no prior language study is required for the program.)

Please note that the specific topics included in each course above may vary.

CreditU.S. Academic Credit

American Councils participants receive academic credit through Bryn Mawr College, an institutional member of American Councils. Upon successful completion of the Peace & Security in the South Caucasus Program, Bryn Mawr College awards 8 undergraduate or 10 graduate hours of credit as follows:

Undergraduate Students
POLS 365 Geopolitics, Conflict and Development in the South Caucasus (1 Unit*)
SOC 347 Language and Society in the South Caucasus (1 Unit*)

*One Bryn Mawr College undergraduate unit is equivalent to four undergraduate semester credit hours.

Graduate Students
POLS 565 Geopolitics, Conflict and Development in the South Caucasus (1 Unit*)
SOC 547 Language and Society in the South Caucasus (1 Unit*)

*One Bryn Mawr College academic unit is equivalent to five graduage semester credit hours.

Course titles are tentative and may vary depending on instructor availability.

ExcursionsExcursions & Activities

As part of the Peace and Security Program, participants engage in a number of activities outside the classroom designed to give a deeper of understanding of life, culture, and history in the South Caucasus. While extracurricular activities vary from year to year, past American Councils participants in Georgia have enjoyed many of the following events:

  • Welcome Lunch
  • City tour of Tbilisi
  • Visit to the Museum of Soviet Occupation
  • Meeting with US Embassy personnel in Georgia
  • Day trip to Gori and a refugee settlement
  • Visit to the Caucasus Research Resource Center
  • Film Screening and Discussion
  • Visit to the Tbilisi History Museum
  • Farewell Party with a Traditional Georgian Supra

HousingHousing & Meals

All program participants live with a local host family for the duration of the program. Living with a host family provides valuable cultural experience to complement the academic program. Host families expose participants to authentic, everyday life in Georgia while also providing a supportive environment for students. While staying with a host family, participants are provided with a private room, two meals per day, and keys to the apartment or house. All host families are screened, selected, and monitored by American Councils staff.

OrientationOrientation

All program participants are required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. at the start of the program. Orientation sessions address health & safety, academic culture, host-family life, culture shock, and strategies to maximize a student's experience abroad. Students also have the change to meet and get to know fellow participants during the orientation. Lodging and meals are provided. Upon arrival in the host country, participants attend an informative in-country orientation.

SupportSupport Services

Support Staff

While overseas, participants have access to in-country staff that provide around-the-clock emergency support. The local American Councils office, employing both expatriates and host-country nationals, arrange the academic program, cultural excursions, housing, in-country orientation, and medical care. During the program, the AC Study Abroad Team in Washington, D.C. stays in close contact via email and telephone with in-country program staff and provides updates as needed to study abroad offices, university partners, and family members.

Insurance

Participants are enrolled in comprehensive overseas health, accident, and evacuation insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) for the duration of the program. CISI provides medical coverage of up to $250,000 per accident or illness. Enrollment in the CISI plan also provides full coverage for emergency medical evacuation.

Visas

All participants are provided with a single-entry visa (if applicable) to Georgia for the duration of the academic program. It is the student's responsibility to obtain any other visas required by their individual itineraries.

Financial AidFinancial Aid

To help provide financial support for students to study abroad American Councils has established the AC Study Abroad Scholarship Fund. All applicants to American Councils summer, semester, or academic-year overseas programs are eligible for partial scholarship awards from this fund including the following:

  • AC Study Abroad Need-Based Scholarship
  • AC Study Abroad Diversity Scholarship
  • Language & Area Studies Scholarship
  • Alumni Scholarship

Awards are made on the basis of financial need and academic merit, and typically range from $500 to $2500.

Visit our Financial Aid page for more information on scholarship and funding opportunities through American Councils and outside sources.

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