Montana State University

Mongolia Bioregions: Environment, Health, and Business

May 26 - June 24, 2015



Location: Orkhon, Mongolia

Dates: May 26 - June 24, 2015 (exact dates will be determined in October)

Eligibility: Grad and undergrad students


Credits Offered: 6

Application Deadline: January 30, 2015

Application materials: Click here to download

Program Overview

This year's program has three main topics: Environment, Health, and Business. It will involve nursing students, pre-med students from the WWAMI program, Equine science, and environmental students.

Participants land in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. Participants stay in apartments and become accustomed to the time change, the culture, and the people of this fast-developing city, as they get their first taste of Mongolia.   After two days in Ulaanbaatar, the group travels to the Orhon region, about a six hour drive northwest of the capital. Here is the work center for this program.  Participants will have an opportunity to learn about:

  • the history and ecology of Central Asia, with a  focus on northern Mongolia
  • the current political, economic, social and environmental challenges in a fromer soicalist country
  • a process of sustainable devcelopment in which the indigenous people drive much of the process of interacting with outside forces and knowledge
  • how to be a contributing team member of an expedition which interacts positively with a rural community

BioRegions uses a holistic process to engage in community partnerships with Mongolian collaborators to share knowledge and build capacity for improving environment, education, health, and use of traditional knowledge and skills in Mongolia and Montana. Translators are included.

Please read the following short descriptions of each topic area for more specifics.


Students will engage in environmental activities including watershed inventory and restoration, sustainable grazing and animal husbandry, herder resilience.  Traditional knowledge will be documented and encouraged, covering such areas as medicinal plants, role of language and story at intersection with science and learning techniques.


The College of Nursing is partnering with MSU Bioregions and the Montana WWAMI Medical program to offer an elective course in rural Mongolia, under the leadership of MSU Nursing faculty Michele Sare. Two to three nursing students will be selected to travel with the MSU Bioregions Mongolian Health Project team which will include students from a variety of other disciplines including medicine, business and agriculture. Nursing students will observe and provide rural health care under the direction of local nurses and physicians. We will work in small clinic settings, in addition to the health department of the province. The focus of the College of Nursing team will be to provide mentoring for Mongolian nurses, provide in- service training on topics such as patient education strategies, and first aid in the community. The CON team will also assist the WWAMI medical students and resident in offering rural clinics in remote areas of the province. Students will live in tents while in Mongolia, and have varied opportunities to compare health problems, cultural precepts, health care systems, and clinical nursing approaches, between the nomadic peoples there, and those of rural Montana.


The business group will travel to Orkhon Soum of Bulgan Aimag (Province) to engage with a rural herding community in projects  which apply techniques of Holistic Management to engage in:

  • Entrepreneurship (small business and government agency consulting, business education, production-marketing-distribution of food products to urban markets)
  • Education (English usage, scholarship program for Mongolian students)

Interesting Links:

Bioregions: Montana State Bioregions Website: the host for this program in Mongolia

WWAMI Program: Cooperative program for medical students of University of Washington, located in Bozeman

College of Nursing: Montana State University's nursing program is located on five MSU campuses

College of Business: This is the Center for Entrepreneurship

Language:  English

For more Information:


Dr. Cliff Montagne, Bioregions: 406.994.5079;

Susan Gibson, WWAMI Medical Education Program:

Martha Joh Kearns, Business: 406.994.7745;

Michele Sare, Nursing: 406.243.2110;

Study Abroad, 406.994.7151,