- Irkutsk, Russia; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
- Program Type:
- Intern Abroad
- Degree Level:
- Fall Semester, Spring Semester
- Work Types:
- Sciences & Environment
- Program Description:
Examine efforts to balance open-door investment policies and protection for indigenous cultures in Mongolia. Students have the chance to live alongside nomadic herding communities and experience some of the most pristine natural environments in the world. Balancing tradition and change It is a fascinating time to study Mongolia, a rapidly globalizing nation that became democratic and capitalistic after 1990. Landlocked between Siberia and northern China, much of this rugged nation is still largely isolated from global development and part of its population remains essentially nomadic, moving over an area twice the size of Texas. Mongolia is one of the only remaining pastoral cultures in the world. Students consider the major economic and political reforms Mongolia has undergone through democratization and how these processes have resulted in significant alterations in the livelihood of its people, particularly in rural areas. Students also discover Mongolia's rich cultural and artistic tradition, which reflects the unique philosophy and history of nomadic people closely attuned to the land, nature, and horses. Immersion in Mongolia's urban centers and rural communities The program is based in the city of Ulaanbaatar, home to nearly one half of Mongolia's population and the country's political, economic, and cultural center. Through the program's field excursions, students visit remote areas in the country's central and northern regions. Rural homestays in nomadic camps provide stark contrasts between Mongolia's urban and rural communities.
The program’s coursework provides an essential foundation in Mongolian language, history, and culture, from which to springboard into in-depth discussions of Mongolia’s most pressing development issues. Key issues of examination include: Mongolia’s nomadic and rural society; the country’s young market economy; systematizing social support and providing for those in need; and the strengthening of governmental structures and oversight. Coursework is based on SIT’s experiential, field-based program model.
Please inquire for costs: Fees include tuition, full room and board, all field trips and related fares, health and accident insurance, and other direct program expenses. Participants pay for international airfare and domestic travel to the point of departure from the USA.
For the last four weeks of this program, you can choose either to complete an Independent Study Project or an internship. For the internship, you will be placed with a local Mongolian organization where you will gain real work experience related to the program’s theme and develop professional skills you can use in your career.
- Setting Description:
- Visit Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia on an excursion.
Additional Program Information
- Scholarships Description:
- Please see our website for more information.
Based on 3 Reviews
- Go to Mongolia! Best place on earth!11/13/19
I had an incredible, life-changing experience at SIT Mongolia. I decided to go on a whim, thinking that I wanted to experience something totally different from my life in the US; it turned out to be one of the best, best experiences of my life. The SIT
Mongolia program is extremely well-run, and the teachers take you all over the country to explore. We visited the Gobi Desert in the south, a mining town in the North, the birthplace of Genghis Khan, and many other places. We had adventure after adventure. One of the best parts was staying with rural nomadic families: helping them herd, playing with the kids, helping them milk yaks, and playing cards. I also had a great experience doing my Independent Study Project. I studied trophy hunting, so I got to travel out to the west and interview hunters, as well as talking to government officials in the capital. The teachers offered great support throughout the process. Finally, I made truly incredible friends among my classmates. We had so, so much fun, and I'm so grateful for this experience.read moreBottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
- SIT Mongolia: Uncommon and Unmatched09/13/19
I guess in Study Abroad lots of people want an adventure or a break from the everyday, and a lot of other people look for a developmental step in their career and some people look for both. SIT Mongolia is an excellent option if you fit in any of those
three categories. Truly there is no place like Mongolia, and in my opinion, there are no study abroad programs like SIT in terms of effectively engaging their students with the local context. At one point, about 2000 miles from the nearest city while my host family yelled at me in Mongolian, and using the words I understood, I helped capture a camel. At another point, I was studying the nature nomadic labor in tourism. My classmates studied food sovereignty and culture, sex and gender, horse culture, modernization, and another worked for one of Mongolia's most prominent women entrepreneurs. Here's some facts. Academics: 3/5 difficulty, yet I learned so much. The academic rigor was lower than my average semester at college though the homestay and excursions offer different challenges unlike written/read assignments. You may get an A in the program with effort. Housing: My homestays were desirable. On excursions the accommodation left something to be desired, but that's Mongolia. If you want prim and proper the program's not for you anyways. Food: consistently enjoyed the food. Though I had no allergies or dietary restrictions, and I like meat. I did buy fruit and recommend my host family to cook more balanced meals, since this wasn't common. You will have to adjust if you eat salad and fruit daily. Integration: I felt the programs allows you to integrate as far as you can. You are put into the most intimate situations with Mongolian people, such as spending time on holidays, sleeping in a ger (just google it), living with a family. Of course, there's limits on "being local" given that you are not, but these are important ways to become as acquainted with Mongolia as possible. By the end of the program, I was conversing with taxi drivers and locals in the main square, bargaining for things, etc. Even today, one year and a half past the program, I was able to interact with a Mongolian family in their language, so the language component is there if you work hard. I know a significant amount of Mongolia history, politics, and economic change. The ISP is important for that. Also, I'm familiar with key sites and was able to interact, and you may maintain connections with groups like the Wild Conservation Society, the WWF, the United Nations, and more specific NGOS if you try.read moreBottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
- Perfect Study Abroad for Adventurers03/02/19
Going on SIT's Mongolia program was one of the best experiences of my life, and I was grateful to be there every day that I was there. I wanted to go to Mongolia because I had never been to Asia and had always dreamed of riding horses there. We spent
a lot of time traveling, meeting people, and getting to know Ulaanbaatar and Mongolia as a group. The best parts for me were living with herders on the steppe for 2 weeks and the month-long independent research/internship period, because those were the times that I truly felt connected to Mongolia and the people there. Be prepared to be challenged--being in Mongolia is way different than being in the US/the West. If you go with an open mind, you'll get so much out of it. Also, SIT Mongolia's staff is amazing and will help you every step of the way, no matter what you need, which makes it easier to be so far away from home for so long. If you're considering going, definitely go--it's a chance you may not get again, and you'll walk away with some amazing stories.read moreBottom Line:Yes, I would recommend this to a friend