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October 29, 2012

Course: RUSLAN Alternative Spring Break in Russia

Deadline: December 11, 2012

University of Michigan
Fourth RUSLAN/GCC Alternative Spring Break program in Russia
February 28 - March 10, 2013

Project RUSLAN offers a host of curricular innovations and some unique opportunities to a wide range of students. RUSLAN Alternative Spring Break in Russia has been a huge success in its first three years. One student recently described it as “one of the best things I have ever done”; another returned to Russia in the summer to conduct research for an honors thesis, making use of the contacts and knowledge she had acquired on the program, subsequently won prizes for her work, and is now in a top graduate program, planning to conduct Ph.D. research in the area she first explored with us; last year two of the program participants won major prizes in two different LSA units for work done in our program.

In Russia ASB participants have been greeted warmly everywhere they have gone, have found the learning experience of spending a week in a small Russian town very rewarding (and very manageable for those with limited or no Russian-language skills), and have thought that the cost was very reasonable. The RUSLAN ASB blog (http://ruslanasb.blogspot.com/) contains three years of student reflections on their experiences on the ASB, plus many photographs and some videos, including a three-part film made by a participant two years ago that won a Slavic Dept prize.

This year, to participate in the Spring Break program, students have to elect the ASB membership mini-course, Slavic 290.01. The course meets on Thursdays, 4-6 pm, from 10 January to 21 February. It is taught in English. For more details, see the description for last year’s course in the LSA Course Guide: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/cg/cg_detail.aspx?content=1870SLAVIC290001&termArray=w_12_1870.

The Spring Break program itself is also for credit (and does not require any knowledge of the Russian language): students elect one or two credits of Slavic 315 (requires permission): one credit for students who wish to pursue the service-learning track; two credits for students who wish to combine service learning with a small research project. Research projects are developed in consultation with Prof. Michael Makin in the months preceding the ASB; intensive research is then conducted on site, and the results are written up after students return to Michigan.

The cost of the program, apart from air fare and other incidentals, will be charged as an add-on to tuition. The program fee is $1,475, includes everything but the air ticket and out-of pocket expenses; students must buy their own air tickets (likely cost around $1,000); other possible incidental fees apply. Some scholarship support may be available – see details on the application page at M-Compass (last year most students were successful in applications for support), while students may use current financial aid for the program fee. There are mechanisms for graduate students to take RUSLAN courses, including the ASB course – one Ph.D. student went on the first ASB; if you are interested, please contact the project directors.

For more information and program application, visit: https://mcompass.umich.edu/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=10361&Type=O&sType=O.

Posted by jychai at October 29, 2012 12:19 PM