Behind the Iron Curtain:

Ukraine in the Cold War

13 May 2014 – 29 May 2014

This is a six credit honors learning community for History and English.

During this trip, we will examine how the Imperialist and Soviet past has given way to a Europeanized, free-market system. Students will see that while Ukraine is modernizing, it is remaining true to its authentic, cultural conditions, creating a unique region that sits between Asia and Europe. The focus of this two week long academic trip is life in the Soviet Republic of Ukraine during the Cold War. In Mykolayiv, we will take a look at the ship-building industry in the Soviet era and everyday life in a closed city. We will visit decommissioned ICBM silos at Pervomaisk. A trip to Crimea will allow students to see other installations of the Cold War, including the sites of Yalta, where the Cold War, arguably, began. Local guides and instructors will assist. We will also contrast what we have learned about Soviet-era life with contemporary Ukrainian culture. Alongside the study of Ukrainian history and culture, students will also use their own writing to analyze their established cultural norms in comparison to the social conventions that are prevalent in Ukrainian culture. Students will reflect on their experiences during guided tours and read a variety of literature discussing the Ukraine and its role with neighboring provinces. It is only through a first-hand immersion in another culture that a genuine reflection on one’s own culture can truly take place.

Check out this quick video that showcases the beautiful landscape of Ukraine:
Ukraine Video-Beautifully Yours 

or click here

Final Trip Cost: $3500 with in-state tuition.

**1750.00 is due by February 20th**

Two-week itinerary: Our Trip through Ukraine:


13 May Leave Durango
14 May Arrive Kiev – Ukrainian capital
16 May Odessa – port city on the Black Sea
18 May Mikolayiv – Black Sea State University, meet Ukrainian students
22 May Migueya Biopark and Pervomaisk
24 May Sevastopol – Black Sea Fleet port
26 May Balaklava – underground Soviet submarine base
27 May Yalta – Museums, the Yalta Conference
28 May Return to Kiev
29 May Leave Kiev/Return Durango

Participants will be responsible for the following costs that are NOT included in the program fee:

  • Transportation to and from Durango for departure and arrival
  • Most meals in Ukraine and en route to Ukraine
  • Entrance fees to optional sites or events in Ukraine (i.e. during free time and/or on free days). Entrance fees to scheduled sites are included in the cost.
  • * Textbooks
  • Passport fees-For information on getting a passport please visit
  • Medication or vaccinations (if applicable)
  • Phone calls and other incidental expenses abroad


  • Expose students to the history of Ukraine during the Cold War.
  • Engage students in the history and culture of the Ukraine while visiting designating travel sites.
  • Expose students to a variety of literary texts (essays, poems, short stories) published in the Ukraine.
  • Teach students about Ukraine’s connection with and influence on other neighboring European countries and the United States.


You may go on this trip and audit the courses, but in order to earn credit, one must be enrolled in either of the following course partners: History 122 & English 111 or History 299 & English 299. For more details, click the links for the course descriptions.

History 122 & English 111
History 299 & English 299


If you already have scholarships or other forms of financial aid through SJC for the spring 2014 semester, your financial aid should apply as usual for your tuition and fees. 

If you are a current full-time, degree-seeking, financial aid eligible student at SJC, you may be eligible to apply for scholarship funds through the San Juan College Foundation. Contact Cynthia Rapp Sandhu ( for more information.