Every few years, the Russian Department sends a small group of students, selected through a rigorous application process, and two to three faculty members, to Siberia. The HWS program in Siberia is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program. The program strives to introduce students firsthand to the issues Russia faces in the conservation and development of modern-day Siberia. Many people are familiar with St. Petersburg and Moscow, which are part of European Russia, but Siberia is still very much unfamiliar territory.
Students and faculty on this program spend four weeks along the shores of Lake Baikal. Baikal, called the "Pearl of Siberia," is the deepest lake in the world and holds 20% of the world’s fresh water. Working together, students have helped build trails, presented plans for eco-tourism around Baikal, and taught lessons to Russian and Buryat children in small village schools. The Siberia program introduces both students and faculty to a Russia that is geographically and culturally foreign to most of the world.