SDU University Summer School on Kazakh & Russian Languages and Central Asia Studies
Eurasia at Crossroads: Perspectives from Central Asia
In a rapidly changing world, the importance of understanding the dynamics of Eurasia cannot be overstated. The global community grapples with many complex challenges, ranging from climate change to economic uncertainties and geopolitical conflicts. Within this intricate tapestry, Central Asia stands as a pivotal region where these challenges intersect, presenting both opportunities and threats. The upcoming summer school aims to delve into the heart of these transformations. It offers a great opportunity to enhance proficiency in the Kazakh and Russian languages and immerse yourself in a vibrant language learning experience.
This summer school addresses two key questions to help unravel the evolving landscape of Eurasia. The first question examines how ongoing conflicts influence the countries in the region, specifically in the context of Central Asian and Eurasian affairs. Shifting the focus from traditional notions of Great Power politics, we explore the agency of Central Asian nations. Particular emphasis will be placed on how these nations are addressing existing issues such as water management, the impact of climate change, the consequences of sanctions on Russia, and the growing economic presence of China in the region, among other topics. We also explore whether the re-emerging Central Asian regionalism is a response to these challenges. The second question probes societal discourses in the region, where the median age is 26 years old, by facilitating vibrant discussions on matters of identity, de-coloniality, inclusive communities, media landscapes, and human rights and democracy building. The program covers how these discourses evolve given domestic and international challenges and opportunities.
“Eurasia at Crossroads: Perspectives from Central Asia” offers a unique opportunity to explore the multifaceted dimensions of Central Asian and Eurasian affairs and learn the Kazakh or Russian languages. This summer school seeks to empower the next generation of global citizens to understand and contribute to the evolving dynamics of this critical region. Participants will engage in lively discussions, receive expert insights, visit cultural sites, meet with civil society members, activists, and opinion shapers, and gain a deeper understanding of the intricate interplay of political, economic, and social factors shaping Eurasia. We invite aspiring students and scholars to join us on this exciting intellectual and emotional journey as we navigate the crossroads of Eurasia’s future.
The Summer School consists of two components: Language & Central Asia and Eurasia Affairs.
Kazakh or Russian language courses are tailored based on the participants’ preferences and language acquisition level. Kaskelen, where SDU University is located, is at the heart of the Almaty region, which is home to ancient and modern historical sites, Kazakh folklore, and a mountainous landscape, offering a great opportunity to enhance the learning experience. The following topics will be covered during the language component:
- Foundations of Kazakh or Russian Grammar (based on the participants’ language level).
- Everyday Conversations and Practical Language Skills.
- Language Proficiency and Fluency.
- Cultural Context in Language Use.
- Language for Travel and Business.
The Central Asia & Eurasia affairs component will be taught by leading Central Asian experts, SDU University faculty, as well as activists and civil society members. The following topics will be covered:
- Geopolitical Dynamics in Eurasia.
- Challenges of Central Asia and Regionalism.
- Climate Change Resilience in Central Asia.
- Societal Discourses in Central Asia.
- Identity Shifts and Nation-Building in Central Asia.
By participating in the SDU University Summer School on Kazakh and Russian Languages and Central Asia Studies, students can expect to achieve a rich array of learning outcomes. Firstly, they will acquire a strong foundation in either Kazakh or Russian language, depending on their preferences and language acquisition levels. This includes mastering the fundamentals of grammar, developing practical language skills for everyday conversations, achieving language proficiency and fluency, and understanding the cultural context in which the languages are used, equipping them for travel and business settings. Additionally, students will gain a profound understanding of Central Asian and Eurasian affairs, exploring geopolitical dynamics, the challenges and opportunities of the region, resilience to climate change, societal discourses, and the complex processes of identity shifts and nation-building. By the end of the program, participants will have the knowledge and language skills to navigate the intricate landscapes of language and culture in Central Asia and contribute to the evolving dynamics of this critical region.
Current students (undergraduate, graduate, and PhD) interested in the language courses and covered topics are encouraged to apply.
- A motivation letter (up to 300 words)
- Proof of English language proficiency (include test results if available, otherwise state your English level)
- Proof of university enrolment
- The standard tuition fee is 650 EUR.
- Central Asian students selecting the Central Asia & Eurasia Affairs component will be charged 50,000 tenge.
- Payment is due on the first day of the summer university.
Accommodation and Meals
SDU University offers a state-of-the-art campus with student dormitories available at a rate of up to 15 USD per night and meals at a cost of up to 7 USD per meal.
SDU University suggests that you contact your home university’s international office to explore potential financial aid opportunities.
Participants from Germany
German students can apply for one of the ten scholarships provided by DAAD, covering living expenses, travel, and tuition fees. Interested students must apply separately to SDU for admission and to DAAD for a scholarship.
Language of Instruction
Upon completing the summer school, participants will receive a certificate specifying the course topic and the obtained 3 ECTS credits.
Please send your application documents by 15 May 2024, 18:00 Almaty time, at the latest, to email@example.com with the subject title Summer School_Last Name First Name_Country in one PDF file.