The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center highlights the summer activities of a student from the Department of Central Eurasian Studies. This year, the spotlight is on rising third-year undergraduate Jack Szczuka, who recounts his travels and studies in Central Asia.
"First, I went on the 10-day study abroad program with Profs. Hodjaev and Kamp, spending time in Samarqand, Bukhara, and Tashkent. While we did plenty of sightseeing, we also took classes on Uzbek language and history at the Samarqand State Institute of Foreign Language (Samarqand Davlat Chet Tillar Instituti). I also had the chance to assist Prof. Hodjaev in a presentation on how Uzbek is taught in the United States. Afterwards, I did some traveling in Khorezm, Ferghana Valley and Qaraqalpaqstan, visiting many historical sights and museums. Along with another student, I fielded questions in a formal class setting in Uzbek about life in the USA as well as our experiences in Uzbekistan at Andijon State University.
[Image description: Jack presents at SDCTI about learning Uzbek in the USA.]
Secondly, I was a recipient of the Critical Language Scholarship for Russian language study in Bishkek for summer 2022. I spent 8 weeks at American University of Central Asia in Bishkek studying advanced-level Russian language and culture, as well as having introductory Kyrgyz language lessons. Our program also included a 4-day segment where we traveled around Issyk-Kul, both taking classes on the shore as well as hiking in the foothills near Barskoon as well as the Skazka Canyon.
[Image description: Jack tries on traditional Kyrgyz attire at Rukh-Ordo Cultural Complex.]
We visited many sights and museums, participated in cooking classes, went to local sporting events, hiked in the mountains surrounding Bishkek, and more. I also had the chance to travel to Osh with another student, where we experienced a very different part of the country, both culturally/linguistically and geographically."
Thank you to Jack for sharing your experiences with us!