Bucharest, Chisinau, Kiev, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine
This program gives students the rare opportunity to examine the behind-the-scenes diplomacy that governs relationships along the contested borders of Eastern Europe. Crossing old, now-forgotten borders, as well as current demarcation lines between EU and Non-EU countries at the edge of the old continent, we will engage with centuries-old histories of territorial fighting while meeting with top local scholars, officials, and diplomats. Students will gain first-hand experience of the effects of transition from authoritarian systems to democracy and learn how local communities navigate questions of national identity, cultural legacy, and independence.
We will visit three capital cities (Bucharest, Chisinau, and Kiev) and three former border cities (Bran, Hotin, Cherniutzi), exploring the limits of the pro-European world at the eastern and western frontiers of Ukraine. It is in these borderlands that students will examine the legally grey area of population migration and the tensions between old and new borders that are disputed by the EU and Russia through social media, international governing bodies, and even military action.
Reflecting on values that transcend borders such as human rights, tolerance, and democracy, as well as on the unique aspects of specific cultures in the region, students will absorb both critically and emotionally the encounter with a historically diverse, yet stereotypically simplified part of the world. These countries make the news mostly for human trafficking, cyber-crime, and escalating conflict, but these accounts ignore the struggles of their highly educated, pro-western, younger generations against nationalism and corruption. This interdisciplinary program approaches holistically the issue of borders in three countries that have become “front-line states in a new Cold War.”
CHID 471: The Borderlands between East and West
*Note that the fees stated above do not include some additional costs, including, but not limited to: airfare, UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.64/day), and personal spending money. Remember that these costs will differ by program. Be sure to read our Fees, Financing, and Withdrawal information for details about the fee structure and payment schedule.