Critical Language Scholarship Program | Building Mutual Understanding…

Building Mutual Understanding Between Kyrgyz and American Students Through Language Partners

Meet Critical Language Scholarship Russian language partner, Mirlan Ulanov! Mirlan has been a language partner for CLS Russian students for the last two summers at partner institute American University of Central Asia (AUCA) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. When asked why, Mirlan shared, “I want to interact with more American students. Americans tend to be aware on a civic level and I want to learn more about regional differences in points of view across the U.S.”

During a recent site visit to Kyrgyzstan, the CLS team had the opportunity to sit down with Mirlan and 14 other CLS language partners and hear about their motivations for helping Americans learn the Russian language.

“One of my motivations is to share Kyrgyz culture, which is not widely known outside of Central Asia. I believe it’s important to shed light on lesser-known cultures and enhance cross-cultural understanding between American and Kyrygz students,” Mirlan explained. 

Mirlan has made close connections with both CLS students he’s been paired with. “With my first language partner [Charles], we talked a lot about music, we were both fans of rock music and really connected on that. With my current language partner, Isaiah, we talk about linguistics, politics, and all sorts of topics.” 

Just a couple weeks into the program and Mirlan has already taken Isaiah around to explore Bishkek. The two recently visited Victory Park.

CLS Russian student Isaiah (left) and Mirlan (right) visit Victory Park in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Through the language partner program, CLS Russian students are seeing Kyrgyz culture through the lens of local students.

Mirlan is a graduate of American University of Central Asia (AUCA), with a degree in Psychology and concentration in Political Psychology. Mirlan is currently pursuing a master's in economics and hopes to continue to serve as a CLS language partner for future summers.

Posted Date

August 07, 2023




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