Why Wisconsin?

  • CESSI is housed within the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA), one of only a handful of U.S. Department of Education-funded National Resource Centers focused on Eurasia.
  • CESSI faculty are award-winning instructors with extensive experience in second-language acquisition.
  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison has a long-standing partnership with Nazarbayev University (NU) in Astana, Kazakhstan. Each summer, many NU students come to Madison to take classes. CESSI students have the opportunity to practice their language skills with these young scholars through the NUUW Connections social program.
  • CESSI students have access to UW-Madison Libraries’ extensive collection of Central and East European, Russian, and Central Eurasian materials, which is one of the best in the country. This includes microfilm of rare late 19th and early 20th century Central Asian serials. Learn more about the collection here.
  • Last, but not least: Madison, Wisconsin is a fantastic place to spend a summer! Sit out on the Terrace, shop at the largest producers-only farmers’ market in the U.S., or hike along the shores of Lake Mendota. Click here for more summer activities, or visit isthmus.com for a list of events happening in and around Madison.
CESSI instructors and students enjoying lunch at the Terrace
CESSI instructors and students at the Terrace

Learn Kazakh at UW-Madison! Elementary Kazakh final class project, CESSI 2017.

What Students Have to Say

“I really enjoyed Dastarkhan, the textile workshop and the lecture series. Those lectures I did not manage to attend in person I listened to on the podcast. I really appreciated having more Central Asia-focused content and programing at UW-Madison.” [2019]

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“I really enjoyed CESSI and consider myself lucky to have had such an opportunity! I hope to come back!” [2018]
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“Overall, the program was terrific—what a great city to spend a summer in! I particularly enjoyed the social events like when we had the BBQ with the former US ambassador to Kazakhstan!” [2017]
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“The CESSI community was wonderful. It was great to meet and get to know students and instructors from all the classes and share so much culture, food, and language. This program is quite culturally rich and I enjoyed it tremendously. I have a much greater understanding and interest in Central Asia now and can’t wait to apply next year…” [2016]
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“I am so happy to have taken this class and I really enjoyed being taught by such a great teacher! I would love to come back in the future and I had a great time overall!” [2015]