***Updated April 2, 2020***
There is nothing like a global challenge to spur innovation. At SRAS this is no exception. We are widely recognized as an organization with innovative ideas in study abroad, and we are not slowing down now.
Starting this summer we are tentatively rolling out a new hybrid approach to study abroad, one that will allow your study abroad experience to begin before leaving home and continue after you return.
For summer 2020, this hybrid model will allow us to provide greater flexibility in terms of departure dates, keeping in mind the obvious logistical concerns that may still arise from the current crisis.
In the longer term, however, we hope to develop this into a powerful new feature of many of our programs. You will be able to start meeting our staff as well as your teachers and peer tutors before you arrive. Materials will be “localized” to help you really gear up and be ready to hit the ground running for your time in-country. In addition to other benefits, this can decrease the cost of study abroad in terms of both time and money you will need to invest, while giving us the ability to provide you with a more intensively experiential study abroad session.
How will hybrid study work?
Two options will be available for our Kyiv summer 2020 language programs, a 4+6 and a 2+6. In the 4+6 model, instruction will be online for four weeks, a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning structured to better allow you to keep that summer job or enjoy other activities at home a bit longer. The remaining 6 weeks are spent in-country with face-to-face instruction. Applications are due by May 1. We hope to roll out hybrid programs to more locations next year.
Will the in-country experience change?
We believe all of us are going to have a new or renewed appreciation for the “experiential” aspects of study and travel. It has always been our focus to truly embed our programs in the specific history, resources, culture, and character of our locations. We are now taking this to a new level.
This will affect all students in these locations – not only those opting for the hybrid model. We will bring some of the classroom time into a more experiential setting. We will also use the online time to discuss some of your personal interests and how they might be explored abroad, particularly in ways that help you connect with the local population.
How does this work with credit?
You will earn credit just as you would if you were abroad for the full period. That is, the 4+6 hybrid earns you 10 US semester credits, and the 2+6 model – 8 US semester credits.
Can I do online only?
That is not the philosophy or aim of SRAS. There are many resources online for learning Russian and there are fully online courses available in the US. Our objective is to increase the impact of being abroad for shorter periods, not to replace the experience. Being abroad is essential to our educational model.
What courses can I take?
At present we are looking only at language study: Russian or Ukrainian for now. We are already working on projects related to other languages and topics. These are in a pre-development stage at this point, although we hope to engage our late summer and fall students in testing and feasibility studies. That is all we can say about that at present, other than we are very excited about these developments.