TCNJ has a unique relationship with the Technological University of Tajikistan in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe. TCNJ has an exciting program in Central Eurasian Studies, which combines courses in the humanities and social sciences with language study in Arabic, Persian, Russian, and Turkish. TUT provides opportunities for students to take Persian language classes while taking other liberal learning classes in English and Russian.
TCNJ and TUT renewed their relationship in 2013, and we currently have one TUT faculty member at TCNJ on exchange and hope to exchange students in 2014-2015. TCNJ students with an interest in Persian often attend summer programs in Persian language offered on various college campuses (Wisconsin and Arizona State are two examples of such programs). Bryan Furman ’13, a former Boren scholarship winner to Russia, currently holds a Fulbright award in Tajikistan and studied in the intensive Persian language program in Madison, Wisconsin, for two consecutive summers. Martín Crosby-Arreaza ’16, a recent winner in the Boren scholarship program, will study at TUT in Spring 2015 after studying intensive Persian in Arizona and in the American Councils’ program in Fall 2014 in Dushanbe. TUT offers students an opportunity to continue their study of Persian/Tajiki language while immersing themselves in a Persianate culture in Central Asia.
Students who would like to learn more about the Central Eurasian Studies minor should contact Dr. Jo-Ann Gross, Professor of History, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Gross teaches courses in Central Eurasian history on a regular basis, providing students with an opportunity to introduce themselves to the peoples of Central Asia and determine if they would be good candidates for the TCNJ-TUT exchange program. There is also a Central Eurasian Studies and Middle Eastern Studies Society – EME – that holds regular meetings and events, including the Nowruz new year celebration in March.
Students interested in intensive language study in Persian, Tajik, Turkish, and other languages of the region should consider participating in the CLS Scholarship competition as well as the American Councils Eurasian Regional Language Program various countries located in the former Soviet Union.