Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Siberia 2013: Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Program

"Siberian Voices: Mapping Culture, Environment, and Everyday Life in Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude and Kyzyl" 

A Summer Opportunity for Texas Educators and Students: Federally-Funded Travel to Siberia!

Mid-June through mid-July, 2013 (4 weeks)

To see projects developed as a result of this 2013 program, please click HERE.

The Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES) at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) is proud to announce a four-week study seminar opportunity in southern Siberia, a region of the Russian Federation. Made possible by a U.S. Department of Education grant, a group of 10 select Texas educators, administrators, and advanced university students will be invited to participate in this Siberian seminar, with the goal of cultural immersion, language study, and curriculum development.

Studying and teaching the geography and anthropology of Siberia respectively, UT’s Dr. Bella Bychkova-Jordan and Dr. Craig Campbell will lead these 10 participants, who will participate in lectures and discussions on the region, excursions, cultural events, interactive experiences, and the gathering of local materials for the creation of curriculum units. Participants will also engage in either a crash-course in Russian, or be allowed to refine their intermediate or advanced Russian language skills. The seminar will be based in the cities and environs of Kyzyl, Irkutsk, and Ulan-Ude, selected because they provide an excellent cross section of Siberia’s diverse cultural and physical geography. The final objective of the program is the enhancement of Russian area studies, and by extension, global studies at UT, other institutions of higher education, as well as K-12 institutions in Texas. In the process we hope to offer a life-changing experience in one of the most remote and fascinating regions in the world.


There are only minimal costs to participants, including:

  • A $500 participant fee (non-refundable)
  • A valid passport that does not expire before January 1, 2014
  • Health insurance coverage for the duration of travel, plus the cost of any required pre-departure check-ups, tests, and inoculations
  • Spending money for personal purchases, telecommunications and Internet, etc.
  • Independent travel, transportation, sightseeing or meals outside of group activities
  • Transportation to/from Austin for the pre-departure seminar (on the 2 days prior to departure), as well as travel to/from a curriculum development workshop in Austin (mid-September 2013). NOTE: All accommodation in Austin during these dates will be paid for at no additional cost to the participants.


All participants must partake in the following:

  • A two-day pre-departure seminar in Austin: scheduled to take place just prior to departure in mid-June.
  • An in-country four-week trip based in the Siberian cities of Kyzyl, Irkutsk, and Ulan-Ude: mid-June through mid-July.
  • A two-day workshop in Austin for refining curricular units and program evaluation: mid-September.
  • Submission of finalized curriculum unit to CREEES for online publication and all required feedback during and after program dates.


In order to be eligible to participate in this program, all participants must be:
A) A citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States
B) And ONE of the following:
  1. A full-time teacher or administrator in any elementary or secondary school in the state of Texas currently teaching and/or studying in the field of humanities, social sciences, foreign languages, and/or area studies (defined as a program of comprehensive study of the aspects of a society or societies including the study of their geography, history, culture, economy, politics, international relations, or languages);
  2. A full-time faculty or staff member at an institution of higher education in the state of Texas who teaches modern foreign languages or area studies; or an experienced education administrator responsible for planning, conducting, or supervising programs in modern foreign languages or area studies at the elementary, secondary, or post-secondary levels;
  3. A full-time graduate student or junior/senior at the The University of Texas at Austin (as of summer 2013) who is a prospective teacher in the areas of social sciences, humanities, and/or foreign languages. Students can also be planning to apply their language skills and/or knowledge of Russia in the field of government, professional development or international development. Students must be still in a program of study and not have graduated prior to the start date of the program.

Application Process:

The deadline to apply is December 1, 2012 at 5:00pm. Required application materials include:

  • A completed “Siberian Voices Application Form,” with basic contact information and program relevant information (submitted online only), AND...

All of the following required application documents should be submitted in .pdf format in ONE email to with “Siberian Voices Application: YOUR FULL NAME” in the subject line. Include your full name in each file name, and what the file is (ie. "FULL NAME - Personal Statement.pdf", etc. or "FULL NAME - Application materials.pdf" if all in one file).

  • A CV or Resume (2 page maximum) – student applicants should include their most recent GPA.
  • A Personal Statement (500 words or less) on how the “Siberian Voices” seminar will further the applicants’ educational or administrative goals as they relate to curricular developmentmore specifically, what course or unit of a course or courses would be developed on the trip. The statement should also explore applicants’ particular interest in Siberia, and how this fits into their career goals and trajectory. 
  • A Letter of Reference from a professor (for students) or colleague/supervisor (for faculty or teachers) explaining why the applicant might be a good fit for this program and how they will use it to their professional advantage. Letters should be signed, on official letterhead, and scanned into pdf format. Letters may be sent by the "recommender" directly to our office, but please have them follow the above subject line protocol and notify us as to who we should be expecting an email from with an attached letter of recommendation (ie. Name of person writing reference and their email address).
For more information, contact Agnes Sekowski ( at CREEES (tel. 512-471-3607).

Project Director:

Dr. Mary Neuburger
Director, Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies
Associate Professor, Department of History

The University of Texas at Austin
204 W 21st St, Stop F3600
Austin, TX 78712-1644
Tel: 512-232-9124
Fax: 512-471-3368


The Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program provides grants to support overseas projects in training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies for teachers, students, and faculty engaged in a common endeavor. Projects may include short-term seminars, curriculum development, group research or study, or advanced intensive language programs.

For more information on the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program, please visit

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  • Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies

    The University of Texas at Austin
    2505 University Avenue, Stop F3600
    Burdine Hall 452
    Austin, TX 78712