I am having such a wonderful time here in Kyrgyzstan. So far we have been to three different cities, including multiple road trips through the beautiful mountains. We have learned so much about politics and society in Central Asia, including culture and etiquette, anti-corruption efforts, economic development, key gender issues, election observation, ethnic diversity and national identity, informal religious practices and shrines, kinship and clans/tribes, water problems, history, and traditional marriage and families. We have also been able to experience the culture first-hand by visiting traditional Kyrgyz yurts, going on city tours and enjoying all of the wonderful food.
All of the native Kyrgyz people are so friendly and welcoming to us, and I feel so safe here. Having spent a semester of my undergraduate studies abroad in France, I didn’t think I would have the chance to study abroad again in my graduate program, especially as an online student. I’m so glad I had this opportunity to experience this part of the world that I had hardly ever even heard of prior to taking this course. I would recommend to all students wanting to study abroad to consider this program and to branch out to unfamiliar places. I am looking forward to these last few days here in Kyrgyzstan!