The Peace and Security in the South Caucasus (PSSC) program has been an amazing experience. The academic program was very well structured, and the professors were exceptional. I particularly enjoyed the courses on the history of the Caucasus, democratization and linguistics. My host family was incredibly welcoming and helped me through adjusting to living in Georgia. The American Councils program had many excursions that were very interesting learning experience and enjoyable.
The trip to Batumi was short but very fun and we were able to see a lot of important sites. My favorites were the botanical gardens which had all sorts of plants from around the world, and some beautiful views overlooking the Black Sea, and the fortress at Gonio which was an incredible experience to see a very ancient military outpost that was used by the Romans first and then several civilizations throughout history. One of my favorite parts of Batumi was the historical connection to the ancient Greek mythology of Jason and the Argonauts which is one of my favorite stories. The statue of Medea holding the Golden Fleece was very cool.
Another part of the program I really enjoyed was the visits with the Caucasus Resource Research Center where we were able to attend several presentations with the Works In Progress series. I learned valuable information for my own research back at my home university.
One of the best trips I did while in Georgia was my personal trip with a few other students to Kazbegi. We were able to take a taxi up there for a weekend trip. The Caucasus mountain range is one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen. The awe of the mountains was almost incomprehensible. We spent time hiking up to a monastery on one of the smaller mountains, and went to Dariali Gorge and saw a newer monastery complex as well as some very beautiful waterfalls. Hopefully I can come back to Georgia in the future and experience even more of this wonderful country.
By: Kristian Perez
Term: Summer 2018