CREEES and the UT Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies are proud to share the results from our “Siberia by Southwest: An Intensive, Project-Based Russian Immersion” study abroad program. The program was funded by a U.S. Department
of Education long-term Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Advanced Overseas Intensive Language Training grant for 2018.
The Siberia by Southwest program included travel to Irkutsk (with excursions to Lake Baikal, Moscow and St. Petersburg) for undergraduate and graduate students as well
as K-12 educators from across the American Southwest. Participants spent 10 weeks studying at Irkutsk State University in South Central Siberia, immersed in intensive language training and project-based learning. As part of the curriculum for the experiential learning project course, they created digital deliverables documenting
their active learning experience for future classroom and research use.
Siberia by Southwest Digital Projects:
Olivia Sullings (recent graduate of UT Austin with a BA in Anthropology),
Sam Marek (recent graduate of Texas A&M University, double major in History
and Russian), Nicholas Kinler, and Patrick Arnold
Lane Peery (recent graduate of Texas A&M University majoring
in Russian with a minor in Biology)
Eliza Kenyon (Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies [REE] and Linguistics student at UT Austin), Nikki Grant (REE and Linguistics student at UT Austin), Nikidrea Rey (graduate student in CREEES MA program at UT Austin)
Matt Maldonado (third-year undergraduate student at UT Austin, double majoring in Government and REE), Nick Hemlock (graduate student at UT Austin in the CREEES MA program)
Margaret Mary Henry (world languages K-12 teacher at the Mississippi School for Math and Science)
Leah Kennedy and Aziza Cunningham
Tourism in Irkutsk Emily Schiemann
Open Windows: Soundscapes of Irkutsk Madeline Styskal
Valentin Rasputin and Farewell to Matyora Theodore Warner
Project groups were asked to form their topics based on interest or umbrella categories, such as history, culture, business/industry/commerce, environmental studies or language/education. On-site UT faculty curriculum coordinator (and UT Russian instructor) Evgenia Wilkins mentored students in the selection, design, and execution of group projects. Peer mentors from Irkutsk State University assisted participants with local contacts, information related to their projects and presentation preparation. In the course of the project completion, participants acquired skills in research, time and information management, translation and collaboration skills. The goal of these projects was to allow participants to connect their own academic or professional interests to their language and area studies training program.