Study History, See The World!
UC senior and history major Nicholas Seay recently received a grant from UC International, the university’s international studies office, to help offset costs for this coming fall when he will be spending a semester abroad in Kyrgyzstan, a beautiful country nestled in the high mountains of Central Asia between Kazakhstan and western China. Starting in September, Seay will head out to the country’s capital, Bishkek, where he will continue his study of the Russian language, begin a new Central Asian Studies course, and work on an independent research project.
Seay’s interests focus on the Soviet Union during the 20th century and in particular on Central Asian culture and the role of Russia in Central Asian politics, all topics Seay sees as “crucial” for understanding contemporary politics and culture in Central Asia.
After starting college without knowing what to major in, Nicholas chose history because he realized that studying the past was “the most fascinating and useful way to develop the skill set” he wanted from college. According to Seay, the challenge of working with a wide variety of historical scholarship and sources has helped him to figure out how to draw conclusions from large amounts of information, while also developing his writing and general communication skills, including the key skill of creating effective and persuasive arguments on the evidence. “As a history student, I am able to explore how other historians frame their positions,” says Seay. And studying history has “opened more opportunities and new interests for me than I could have imagined.” Including, in the first instance, the inspiration to study Russian, which he started to do here at UC two years ago, and also to travel abroad.
With his UC International grant in hand, Nicholas will be in Kyrgyzstan during the fall term experiencing and learning from a new culture. His path here at UC reveals some of the wonderful things that come from studying history, including the chance to acquire important skills and to learn about and travel to distant countries and cultures. We’ll be keeping up with Nick while he’s in Kyrgyzstan, so check this page again to learn more about his adventures later in the fall. In the meantime: Bon voyage, Nick, and udachi! (That means “good luck!” in Russian.)