- Eurasian Regional Language Program (ERLP)
- Overseas Professional & Intercultural Training (OPIT) Program
- Peace & Security in the South Caucasus
Please note that www.aceurasiaabroad.org and all of its information will be moving to a new website. You can visit www.acstudyabroad.org/erlp for up-to-date information about the program and many others.
The Eurasian Regional Language Program (ERLP) offers intensive, highly-individualized instruction in more than 15 Eurasian languages, including Armenian, Azeri, Dari, Farsi, Georgian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Romanian, Ukrainian, and Uzbek. Through homestays, cultural activities, and conversation partners, participants enjoy an unprecedented opportunity to immerse themselves in daily local life while receiving ongoing support and guidance from American Councils expert, overseas staff.
Academic ProgramThe ERLP academic program is designed to improve students' oral, listening, and reading proficiency in the language of study. Course work typically includes classes in phonetics, grammar, and conversation as well as composition, oral comprehension, and reading. Language courses also cover topics in literature, history, politics, culture, mass media, and area studies.
Students are enrolled in either small group classes or individual tutorials. If enrolled in small-group classes, they receive approximately 20 hours per week of in-class contact hours; if studying in tutorials, participants are provided approximately 15 - 18 contact hours per week, with the understanding that each tutorial hour will require at least two hours of preparation outside the classroom. All classes are conducted in the target language by full-time faculty from leading local universities and educational institutions who have extensive experience teaching foreign students.
U.S. Academic CreditParticipants receive academic credit through Bryn Mawr College, an institutional member of American Councils. Upon successful completion of the program, Bryn Mawr College issues:
- 8 undergraduate/10 graduate credit hours for the summer program,
- 16 undergraduate/15 graduate credit hours for the fall or spring semesters, and
- 32 undergraduate/30 graduate credit hours for the academic year program.
American Councils will submit one transcript request per participant at the conclusion of the program. Program alumni may request transcripts at any time, however, at no additional cost. For more information on how to request transcripts, visit the Academic Credit page
Program participants live with local families, regardless of host country. Living with a local family provides a valuable cultural experience and complements the academic portion of the exchange. Past participants have consistently evaluated the experience very highly.
Host families expose students to authentic, contemporary daily life in informal social settings and provide supportive environments for students to test their growing language skills. All families are carefully screened, selected, and monitored by local American Councils staff. They provide two meals per day; participants are guaranteed private rooms and telephone access. Even though host families are modestly compensated by American Councils for their services, they enjoy having American guests in their home very much.
It is important to enter into a host family arrangement with realistic expectations. Often, American students establish a very warm relationship with their host family, feeling like they had almost been "adopted" into it. At times, however, the student and family do not form such a close relationship. The object of the program is not to provide surrogate families abroad, but to help students gain a closer understanding of the local culture and language.
Many of the families have host American Councils participants before and already have some experience with "strange" American eating habits or other "odd" habits such as jogging at dawn. Good humor, patience, and open minds on both sides will help in adjusting to these and other cultural differences.
To aid cultural integration and support academic learning, participants have the opportunity to meet with conversation partners their own age two hours per week. Conversation partners introduce participants to local young people, accompany participants on sightseeing tours, organize cultural activities (cinema, museum, etc.), and provide students with academic support. The conversation partners are expected to speak only the local language.
American Councils Funding Sources
American Councils offers a limited number of merit- and need-based scholarships for students including the AC Study Abroad Need-Based Scholarship and the AC Study Abroad Diversity Scholarship. All applicants to American Councils summer, semester, or academic-year overseas programs are eligible for partial fellowship awards from this fund. Awards are made on the basis of financial need and academic merit and typically range from $500 to $2500.
Provided by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by American Councils, Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad fellowships are available to advanced-level Persian language speakers who plan to participate in the American Councils Eurasian Regional Language Program in Dushanbe. Eligible participants must have a strong commitment to teaching Persian in universities or in K-12 schools, or to applying their language skills in government, international development, or other professional fields. Participants must also be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, who are undergraduate students with upperclassmen standing (juniors or seniors), graduate students, or U.S. K-12 teachers in order to be eligible for Fulbright-Hays funding. At the conclusion of the semester abroad, participants who received Fulbright-Hays funding are expected to conduct outreach activities in the U.S. to promote Persian study to the larger community. Fulbright-Hays fellowships are awarded on the basis of financial need and academic merit; fellowship awards are available for semester programs only and are made in the amount of $7,000.
Provided by the U.S. Department of State and administered by American Councils, Title VIII fellowships are available to participants who hold a Bachelor's degree or higher and plan to participate in the Eurasia Regional Language Program (ERLP). Title VIII fellowships are awarded on the basis of financial need and academic merit; past awards have been made for as much as 75% of the program cost.
To apply for any American Councils scholarships/fellowships, simply indicate your desire to be considered for financial aid in the appropriate section of the program application and complete all the questions and forms that follow.
Federal Sources of Funding for Study Abroad
Past participants have used Boren Scholarship and Fellowship funding on this program. For more information, visit: http://borenawards.org/
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship may be applicable to this program. The online application is available at the Gilman Program website: http://www.iie.org/gilman/
Many colleges and universities also provide financial aid for participation in American Councils programs. For more information on scholarship and funding opportunities, visit the Financial Aid page.
Applications for the Eurasian Regional Language Program are due on or before the following deadlines
- Summer - February 15
- Fall - March 15
- Academic Year - March 15
- Spring - October 15
Approximate dates by semester are as follows:
- Spring semester - January 19 to May 18
- Summer program - June 8 to August 10
- Fall semester - August 24 to December 18
- Academic-Year - August 24 to May 15
Please contact the American Councils office to confirm program dates as they can vary by country.
EligibilityGraduate students, advanced undergraduates, and working professionals who have completed one year of college-level instruction in the target language, a related language, or Russian may apply to ERLP. (American Councils may request a telephone Oral Proficiency Interview to verify language level). Applicants must be at least 18 years old by application deadline.
AdmissionsAdmission to ERLP is competitive and is based on language ability, academic record, and references. An outside selection committee comprised of at least two experts in the target language and second-language acquisition make all selection decisions. American Councils outbound staff may interview applicants as part of the admissions process. All applications will receive consideration without regard to any factor such as race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, or disability.
Below are the program cost breakdowns for the upcoming year:
|Room and Board:||$1,100|
|Room and Board:||$2,200|
Academic Year 2016-17
|Room and Board:||$4,900|
|Room and Board:||$2,200|
Items not included in the program cost (per semester):
- International airfare: estimated at $2,000 roundtrip
- Books and supplies: $150
- Local transportation: $200
- Meals (lunches) not included in the board cost: $300
Before leaving the U.S., program participants attend a mandatory orientation program at the American Councils Washington, D.C. office. Orientation sessions address health and safety, Eurasian academic culture, host-family life, culture shock and strategies to maximize language gain. Participants also have a chance to meet and get to know fellow participants. Lodging and meals are provided.
The local American Councils office, employing both expatriates and host-country nationals, arrange the academic program, cultural excursions, housing, in-country orientation, and medical care. American Councils regional staff also provide ongoing logistical support, including an emergency contact person who is available at all times for participants. During the pre-departure orientation, participants receive a wallet-sized card listing field office contact information as well as other important phone numbers.
During the program, the Outbound Office in Washington, D.C. stays in close contact via email and telephone with all regional offices hosting study abroad participants. Outbound staff also perform regular site visits to meet with American Councils program participants in the field.
Insurance and Medical Facilities
Today, western-style clinics operate in most major cities of Eurasia, and American Councils overseas staff are available at all times to assist participants in receiving the best medical care available. All participants are automatically enrolled in a Cultural Insurance Services International plan that provides medical coverage of up to $250,000 per accident or illness. The CISI plan also provides full coverage for emergency medical evacuation.
All participants are provided with a single-entry visa to the host-country (if applicable) for the duration of the academic program. It is the student's responsibility to obtain any other visas required by their individual itineraries.
Visa application information and forms are provided upon acceptance to the program.