Venue and location
The American University of Central Asia, also known as AUCA, is a non-profit higher education institution, located in Bishkek, the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic.
In 2015 AUCA moved from its old campus located in the center of the city, to its new campus located in the southern part of the city, closer to the hills and mountains that frame the southern part of the capital.
In 2017, AUCA was awarded the Louis I. Kahn Citation as the top post-secondary entry in the 2017 American School & University Architectural Portfolio, a premier showcase celebrating the best in education design. The 2017 jury appreciated the allusions to local culture, the design and successful mixture of materials, forms, the colors of the campus building’s facade, and the innovative planning and joy-filled dynamic interior with its pleasing symmetry. AUCA’s new campus was featured in the American School & University magazine.
AUCA started in 1993 as the business and law-oriented Kyrgyz-American Faculty (KAF) within the Kyrgyz State National University (KSNU). As a result of dynamic growth, in 1997, by a decree of the President of Kyrgyzstan, KAF became The American University in Kyrgyzstan (AUK), and an independent, international Board of Trustees was established as its governing body. At that time, AUK established itself as a higher education institution based on the American liberal arts tradition of free and critical inquiry. In the context of lengthy post-Soviet educational reforms and the neglect of the social sciences and humanities, the liberal arts approach to education in the Central Asian region became the trademark of the University, and attracted many young scholars. In 2002, based on the University’s expanded mission and vision, the Board of Trustees changed the name to American University of Central Asia to better reflect the University’s regional significance.
AUCA now positions itself as an international, multi-disciplinary learning community in the American liberal arts tradition, with English as its main language of instruction and work.
AUCA’s mission is to develop future leaders for the democratic transformation of Central Asia. The new AUCA campus is the first privately funded green project in Central Asia. The campus provides students and faculty with the infrastructure and supporting technology they need to compete in the 21st century.
AUCA is the only university in Kyrgyz Republic to obtain a QS EECA (Emerging Europe & Central Asia) Ranking.
American University of Central Asia
7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060
Tel.: +996 (312) 915000 + 331
Fax: +996 (312) 915 028
Travel and transport
The easiest way to get to Bishkek from abroad is to fly. The nearest international airport is Manas located 23 km to the northwest of Bishkek. Manas airport is small, and it is easy to find your way around.
Transportation from the airport to the hotel
On arrival, a complimentary pick-up from the airport will be provided by AUCA to those who sign up on time. Details will be provided to attendees by email. All attendees are welcome to sign up for this pick-up, whether you’re staying at the conference hotel (Jannat Regency) or another Bishkek hotel. Please note that attendees not staying at the Jannat Regency Hotel will be dropped off at a single, central location.
Upon arrival, if you don’t use the complimentary (and recommended) pick-up service, you can get from the airport to Bishkek in the following ways: by taxi or by public transport. Using public transport in Bishkek is an adventure and a cultural experience in its own. We recommend you not to try it at your arrival.
Taxi service is relatively cheap and reliable. We recommend you use a taxi to travel from the airport into the city, rather than public transportation (only available during day time), mainly because there is no direct line of public transport between the airport and the south part of the city where the conference hotel (Jannat Regency) is situated.
Please note that most of Bishkek’s taxi drivers do not speak English and accept only cash in Kyrgyz Soms.
The average fare from Manas airport to Bishkek is 10-15 USD. The journey from the airport to Bishkek’s city center takes approximately 25-30 minutes. Allow approximately an additional 20-25 minutes to travel for the city center to the Jannat Regency Hotel.
We recommend you use the taxi service “Airport Taxi Service”, also known as “Manas Taxi service”. You can book your taxi by writing a request on email: firstname.lastname@example.org before your flight. Please wait for the confirmation. In case of booking this service you will be met by a driver, who will escort you to the allocated zone at the airport where you can pay for the taxi using your bank card. Then you will be transferred to your hotel. The cost of service from the airport to the Jannat Regency Hotel is 700 soms (~10 USD).
More information is available on the Airport Taxi Service page.
The taxi stand at Manas airport is located approximately 100 meters from the exit of the arrival zone. Service is available 24 hours a day.
Morning check-in at the hotel
Many flights arrive in Bishkek early in the morning. If you are staying at the Jannat Regency, normal check-in time is 14:00; if you arrive earlier in the day than that, there will be an additional 50% room night charge. If AMICAL is covering your hotel, we’ll also cover the cost of this early check-in, as long as it falls on the day that AMICAL would normally cover for your first hotel night.
Transportation from the hotel to the airport
On departure, transfer from the Jannat Regency Hotel to the airport will also be provided by AUCA to those who sign up on time (details will be sent to attendees by email). Other attendees, including those who stay in other hotels, must arrange for their own transportation to the airport. Again, use of a taxi is highly recommended.
Consult our Visas page.
Letter of invitation
Should you need an invitation letter from the organizers when applying to a visa to attend the conference, indicate this (by ticking the appropriate box) when filling out the registration form.
If you will be attending the conference with your young child, AUCA may be able to arrange for childcare while you are attending the event. If you expect to need this service, contact the AUCA organizers (email@example.com) as far in advance as possible to confirm the availability, cost and other details of this service.
Practical information about the Kyrgyz Republic and Bishkek
Kyrgyz and Russian are the official languages of the Kyrgyz Republic. Not many local people speak English.
The local currency is the Kyrgyz Som (KGS). The US dollar and euro are the easiest foreign currencies to exchange in Kyrgyzstan.
Participants arriving at Manas Airport will find ATM machines and a currency exchange office located in the Arrivals hall. Exchange offices and banks are plentiful in Bishkek and often provide a better exchange rate than is offered at the airport.
There are ATM machines in the Jannat Regency Hotel, as well as in most hotels in Bishkek.
There are also several banks located near the Jannat Regency Hotel, so you will find a place to exchange money relatively easy. There are also two ATMs located at the AUCA campus.
Electricity in the Kyrgyz Republic is based on the European standard 220-230V AC, 50HZ. Wall outlets can accommodate two types of plugs:
Time and Weather
The local time zone is GMT+6. The climate in Bishkek during the month of May is usually pleasant and sunny, with average temperatures of 18°C to 20°C during the day while, evening temperatures can drop to around 13°C. Sporadic rain is common so an umbrella is advised.
The temperature is lower early in the morning and after sunset, so a jacket and sweater will be needed.
Kyrgyz food is mainly meat-based and with sparse use of spices. However, there is some choice of vegetarian meals, including salads and main dishes. Dairy products also constitute a large part of the diet. Restaurants offer Russian, European, Turkish, Chinese, and Korean dishes. There is also a good selection of fruits, vegetables, dried fruits and nuts in the markets in the city.
- Police – 102
- Emergency – 103
- Emergency rescue service – 110
Things to do
The Kyrgyz Republic, or Kyrgyzstan, is a country famous for its pristine landscapes, high mountains and last remaining nomads. The capital city, Bishkek, is located in the north of the country, at the foothills of the Ala-Too range of the Tian Shan mountains.
Bishkek offers tourists a large number of attractions. The city has numerous large parks, amusement parks, excellent restaurants and cafes, theaters, museum and art galleries. It offers all the entertainment and shopping of a capital city, being walkable and spacious at the same time.
More information can be found at the links below:
AUCA is partnering with the local tourist agency “Asia Mountains” to offer tours around Kyrgyzstan to attendees. You can plan to stay:
If you choose a one-day trip, you don’t need to check out from the hotel. If you choose a two- or three-day trip, you need to arrange a check out from the hotel. Both trips will return to Bishkek at the end of the day (approx. around 20:00).
You must contact the tourist agency in person, communicating with them your prefered itinerary, and indicating that you are an AMICAL attendee (to use the discount price):
Tel: +996 312 986148
The contact person name is Evgenia (Jenya)
You are welcome to book other trips either with Asia Mountains, or with a few other travel agencies recommended by the local organising committee, such as: