Unique Study Abroad Experience in Central Asia Past Review

By (Russian Area Studies, Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/18/2014 to 12/21/2014 with

Bard College: Bishkek - Study Abroad at American University of Central Asia

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was able to explore a new region of the world, be immersed in a culture that few in the States are even aware of, create lasting friendships, take courses in disciplines I would otherwise not have explored. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to spend a semester in Bishkek.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The first housing arrangement was a mess and did not work well at all. But the second host family I moved in with was fabulous-- could not ask for anything better.

* Food:

Food was great, but as a gluten-free pescatarian is was challenging at times, even after I began eating meat out of necessity.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

With the first host family, I had to spend a lot of out of pocket money on food ($150 +) as they were not feeding me and there was no food in the house to cook, but once I moved in with the second host family these costs disappeared and I spent ~$20/wk

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? See above


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host family
  • Program director (Iliyas)
  • Program trips!
* What could be improved?
  • Russian language class offerings
  • Opportunities for international students to connect with locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known about the high probability of certain classes (that I needed for my minor) being cancelled because of low enrollment. That issue should be fixed now for future Bard exchange students.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.