Get Sent to Siberia – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Get Sent to Siberia

Four-week interdisciplinary seminar to look at ecology, economy and culture in Russia

(April 1, 2005) GENEVA, N.Y.– Hobart and William Smith Colleges have received funding to establish a four-week, interdisciplinary seminar in Russia, held in Siberia, for students of Russian area studies, economics and environmental studies disciplines. The seminar is intended to complement HWS' interdisciplinary course, Russia and the Environment.

The Colleges have received $67,000 for the development of the seminar from the U.S. Department of Education, under the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad program. Funding was secured with the assistance of Congressman Sherwood L. Boehlert (R-NY).

“The Russian area studies program at HWS is very proactive in providing students with study abroad experiences and comprehensive language programs and I was happy to be able to help support this new endeavor,” says Boehlert.

“By examining Siberia, students will see firsthand the diversity and complexity of Russia–especially with regard to its culture, environment and economic development,” says Professor David Galloway of the Russian area studies program. “Such a multifaceted understanding of Russia will be critical for students whose future plans include working in the government, business or in environmental organizations with links to Russia.”

The bulk of the seminar titled Modern Siberia: Ecology, Economy and Culture will be in Irkutsk, located in Siberia near Lake Baikal, where the intensive language study, environmental studies, cultural studies and economics courses will take place. The seminar is designed to afford students the opportunity to see a part of Russia which is much less visited but that has tremendous importance in all of these areas.

The Colleges offer both a disciplinary and interdisciplinary track for both Russian area studies majors and minors with courses in language, humanities, social sciences and contextual areas such as economics, history, political science and sociology.

The new interdisciplinary seminar to Irkutsk is expected to begin in May of 2006.