Georgia: Tbilisi

Program Snapshot
Semester: Fall, Spring, or Full Year
Offered: Annually
Estimated Dates: Fall: late August to mid-December, Spring: mid January to mid May
Program Focus: Regional Area Study with Language Component
Prerequisites: Minimum of 2.5 GPA. Students must satisfy the Words and Numbers CORE requirement before participating in an overseas program.
Housing: Host families
Campus Contact: Maria Hristova
Assistant Professor of Russian
hristova@lclark.edu, 503-768-7442


Program Design

In cooperation with SRAS, Lewis & Clark offers an area studies program in Tbilisi, Georgia. The program offers Russian language, in addition to electives in Conflict Studies, Diplomacy, Geopolitics, History, Identity Studies, and International Relations. The program provides extensive travel and cultural experiences to offer local insights and a truly immersive experience.

As the Soviet Union crumbled, it left behind successor states, each with an ethnically, linguistically, and culturally diverse population. As these states tried to form domestic policies and governing institutions, the interests of their various populations were (and often still are) often in conflict. Civil war erupted in Tajikistan and Georgia. Riots swept Kyrgyzstan. Armed conflicts broke out in Moldova and Russia. While based in Tbilisi, Georgia, you will travel extensively throughout the country and also to Armenia and Azerbaijan to discuss the conflicts in these states, both past and present, with local experts. Learning of the historical background and the interests of groups involved, including foreign interests, you will critically consider the governance issues that face modern multiethnic states. You will search for pragmatic solutions using the experience you gain on the ground. This program provides invaluable experience for anyone interested in diplomacy or policy making.

This program is based at the NovaMova school. Founded in Kyiv in 2001, NovaMova is a private language school using innovative and immersive teaching methods. The school actively combines intensive classroom training with hands-on, practical usage through conversation partners, various masterclasses, discussion groups, film and literature clubs, and more.

Tbilisi is the ancient capital of Georgia. Georgia was part of the world of the Ancient Greeks, it appears in Greek histories and myths, and the Georgians participated in the same classical humanities. Georgia was one of the world’s first Christian kingdoms, whose subjects were converted by two of the original apostles, Simon and Andrew, in the first century. Although it has been ruled by Persians, Turks, and Slavs, the Georgians have always maintained a strong, independent and European-oriented identity. Tbilisi is a political, economic, and cultural hub, but is also still easy to navigate and the pace of life is slow enough that people on the street still stop to have conversations with each other. Immerse yourself in this beautiful city, rich with history, broad boulevards, and a diverse mix of people.


Academics

Requirements Fulfilled:

General Education - This program fulfills the Global Perspectives general education requirement for students who successfully complete 8 or more semester credits.

Major/Minor Requirements - Select courses may be applied to the IA major or Political Science major/minor with advisor approval.

Select courses may be applied to the Russian minor or the WLL major. In order to earn credits towards the Upper Level Russian requirement for the Russian minor or the WLL major when Russian is one of the languages selected, students must complete RUSS 202 or the equivalent prior to studying abroad. It is also possible to apply one 4-credit English language course towards the Russian Literature requirement with advisor approval.

Credits: Credit earned varies based on courses completed. Students may earn up to 19 credits. Overloads are not permitted.

Curriculum:

Sample curriculum for Spring 2023 (as an example):

  • Post-Soviet Conflict Studies
  • Identity in the Post-Soviet Space
  • Georgian Language and Culture Workshop
  • Russian Language Study

For more information about course options, please visit the program page on the SRAS website. 

Excursions: This program includes approximately three weeks of travel to locations ideally suited to the study of conflict and identity. We will travel extensively within Georgia and visit Armenia and Azerbaijan. If conditions permit, we will visit Moldova and/or Ukraine. In each of these locations, as well as in your base city of Tbilisi, you will have an extensive cultural and excursion program as part of your courses. Note: In the event that any of the conflicts we are studying become or remain active, we will adjust the travel destinations and/or schedule accordingly.


Student Life

Housing: In Tbilisi students stay with a host family and are provided with two meals per day. Homestays in Tbilisi vary, sometimes housing students with a family and sometimes with a single, older person or couple. In all cases, however, host(s) will be experienced and ready to include students in conversations and daily life. Home stays are a phenomenal way to boost Russian language and immerse into the local culture.


Cost

2023-2024 Fee Breakdown*

Total Fee (includes Tuition, Program Fee, and Health & Wellness Fee): $39,385

Tuition: $30,958

Program Fee: $8,017

Health & Wellness Fee: $37**

Included in the program fee are room/housing, board/meals, and administrative fees. Not included are airfare, passport and visa expenses, primary insurance coverage, photographs, books, immunizations, and incidentals. *Fees are updated every February for the following academic year.

**The Health & Wellness Fee supports the operations of Wellness Services staff in delivering pre-program orientation services, as well as in providing health-related consultation regarding participant health needs. All students in the College of Arts and Sciences pay a mandatory fee of $37 per semester.

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals and transportation costs not covered by the program fee.

Estimated Airfare (Round Trip PDX to TBS): $1,500-$2,000

Estimated Travel Document Fees: $160 - $190

Estimated Health Insurance Fee: $1,943.50

All students participating in overseas programs are automatically enrolled in iNext, a supplemental travel insurance program. The fee for iNext is covered in the program cost. However, students are also required to have comprehensive health insurance during their time abroad. All students participating in overseas programs, both abroad and domestic, are automatically enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Similar to a regular semester on-campus, students participating in overseas programs may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they have other comprehensive health insurance (e.g., through a parent, guardian or employer) that 1) provides coverage for them in the geographic region in which they will be studying and 2) includes mental health benefits. Click here for more information regarding health insurance & overseas programs.


Program Preparation

Application Process: Student must first submit a Lewis & Clark Application. Once admitted by Lewis & Clark, the students will receive instructions for submitting their pre-departure materials to SRAS.

For more information about the application process, click here.

Travel: Students usually fly into the Tbilisi airport (TBS), where they are met by local staff and transported to orientation.

Visa: Students will not be required to apply for a visa in order to participate in this program. More information will be provided upon admission to the program.

Country-Specific Health Information: Click here to view specific health information for people traveling to Georgia.

State Department Country Information: Click here to visit the State Department’s Georgia page.


Tbilisi, Georgia