Catherine Malezis

People buy everything at the open-air markets (bazaars) in Southern Kyrgyzstan: clothing, food, jewelry, even car parts. I travelled to the region in search of information. I wanted to find out how Kyrgyz and Uzbek people were interacting in the bazaars since the violent clashes between them in 2012. A large section of the main bazaar in the city of Osh had been burned down, and I was curious to see how it had been rebuilt, and how the interactions between sellers and buyers had changed.

This is precisely why I applied to the Institute of European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (EURUS). I knew I wanted to pursue a graduate program that would afford me real-world opportunities. I didn’t want to write a research paper about someone else’s fieldwork: I wanted to do my own. The first person I talked to was Professor Jeff Sahadeo, then Director, who became my graduate supervisor. He told me that EURUS students have many opportunities in the way of internships, co-ops, and funding for research and language training abroad.

I’m so thankful because I now have this experience that sets me apart from other MAs as I enter the job market. I can say that I have studied and conducted fieldwork in Central Asia, and that I have something new to contribute to the conversation.