As the capital of Armenia, Yerevan serves as the economic and cultural heart of the country. Historically ruled by a number of peoples, including the Persians, the Turks, and the Russians, it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. While the vast majority of those living in Armenia are natural Armenians, Yerevan is home to a small variety of other ethnic groups including Russians, Kurdish and Azeri. Though one of the oldest cities in the world, Yerevan is constantly changing and modernizing. While its unique architecture reflects the city’s colorful history, it is also a busy industrial and commercial center with its share of communist-era industry. At the same time, the city has not lost its “ancient” feel or charm. Yerevan’s old narrow streets, colorful historic core and cultural diversity make it an intriguing and unique location to live and visit.
American Councils in ArmeniaThe local American Councils office in Yerevan was established in 1996. Since then, the American Councils Yerevan office has implemented more than a dozen of programs in Armenia funded by the US Government providing over 1,200 high school and university students, educators, and faculty members with the opportunity to study, research and receive professional training in the US. In addition, the local staff provide ongoing logistical support for US students and researchers while they are in in Armenia.
Nestled between the Caucasus mountains and the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan is a small country, slightly larger than the state of Maine. Baku, the capital and largest city, is home to 2 million inhabitants. This picturesque city stands on a peninsula that juts into the Caspian Sea. Blending East and West, Baku is a dynamic boomtown that constantly changes and is full of contrasts as towering skyscrapers are built besides Old Town.
- U.S. Dept. of State on Azerbaijan
- Lonely Planet on Azerbaijan
- The World Factbook on Azerbaijan
- Ministry of Culture and Tourism
- Today.az News Agency
The origin of the name Tbilisi (from the Georgian word tbili, or warm) is indicative of the nature of the city and its people. Home to over 1.5 million residents, the capital city of Georgia prides itself on its warm hospitality and rich cultural life. Its location between Europe and Asia and its status as one of the oldest cities in the world make it a prime spot for travelers, students, and scholars interested in both ancient history and current events in Eurasia.
Language(s) OfferedChechen, Georgian
- U.S. Dept. of State on Georgia
- Lonely Planet on Georgia
- The World Factbook on Georgia
- The Georgian Times
- Georgia Today
Kazakhstan's fifteen million citizens include a wide variety of ethnicities and religions. With a total area of 2,724,900 sq km, Kazakhstan is almost four times the size of Texas and the world's ninth biggest country. Situated on the famous Silk Road, Kazakhstan has always been a meeting point of different peoples and cultures, and it continues to be a curious cross-section of ancient and modern, as well as of Soviet-rooted and Kazakh traditions. Despite losing its status as capital in 1997 to Astana, Almaty is the largest city in Kazakhstan and remains the major commercial and cultural center. Its location on the foothills in southern Kazakhstan creates picturesque views of Almaty with a mountainous background.
- U.S. Dept. of State on Kazakhstan
- Lonely Planet on Kazakhstan
- The World Factbook on Kazakhstan
- EurasiaNet - Kazakhstan
- Kazakhstan.com City Guide
Most of the country's population is concentrated in the rich Fergana valley in the southwest and along the Chui River in the north. Kyrgyzstan is slightly smaller than South Dakota and is approximately 199,951 sq km. Ethnically, Kyrgyz make up the vast majority of the populations, with Uzbeks and Russians rounding out the rest. Kyrgyzstan has always been a meeting point of different peoples and cultures and it continues to be a curious cross-section of ancient and modern, as well as of Soviet-rooted and Kyrgyz traditions. The largest city and capital is Bishkek, which is located on the fringe of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too mountain range
Moldova is approximately one and one-half times the size of New Hampshire. Its location has made it a historic passageway between Asia and southern Europe as well as the victim of frequent warfare. Since independence in 1991, the country continues to struggle to come to terms with its status as an independent state. The Moldovan countryside reflects the Romanian connection, with whitewashed homes decorated with bright colors and ornamented with painted flowers and other colorful symbols. Ethnically, Moldovans make up the vast majority of the population, with a significant Russian and Ukrainian minorities. Chișinău, the capital and largest city, is also the main industrial and commercial center in Moldova
- U.S. Dept. of State on Moldova
- Lonely Planet on Moldova
- The World Factbook on Moldova
- Travel Guide to Moldova
- World of Moldova
Although Russian is the official federal language, there are over 100 minority languages spoken in Russia today. Many of these languages are prominent in key regional areas and republics.
Language(s) OfferedBashkir (Ufa), Buryat (Ulan-Ude), Tatar (Kazan),Yakut (Yakutsk)
Want to study Russian?If you are interested in studying Russian in Russia, please see our Russian Language and Area Studies Program.
Most of the Tajikistan's population is concentrated in the rich Ferghana Valley to the north and the Hissar and Vakhsh valleys to the south. Ethnically, Tajiks make up the vast majority of the population, with a significant Uzbek minority and Pamiris, Kyrgyz, and Russians rounding out the rest. Tajikistan has always been a meeting point of different peoples and cultures, and it continues to be a unique cross-section of ancient and modern, as well as of Soviet-rooted and Tajik traditions. Its largest city Dushanbe also serves as the capital of Tajikistan.
Language(s) OfferedPersian/Dari, Persian/Farsi, Persian/Tajiki, Uzbek
American Councils in UkraineAmerican Councils first opened its doors in Ukraine in 1992. Since then American Councils has administered numerous programs sponsored by the US Government, developed projects in civil society building and contributed to the development of standardized testing in Ukraine. Our staff of seasoned professionals is trained to serve the Ukrainian public in the field of educational exchanges between the US and Ukraine. In addition, the local staff provides ongoing logistical support for US students and researchers while they are in Ukraine.
- U.S. Dept. of State on Ukraine
- Lonely Planet on Ukraine
- The World Factbook on Ukraine
- Kiev City Guide