icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Courses: Summer 2024

AFSO offers the following seminars in Summer 2024. Meeting times are all Afghanistan time. Following the AFSO course listings is a listing of credit-bearing courses offered through our partnership with Bard College and the Open Society University Network. Students may sign up for AFSO courses, marked by *, that are cross-listed with OSUN; only nominated students may enroll in other OSUN courses.


Admitted students should create an account on the "For Students" page. Beginning May 20, 2024 registration will open, and students will list their choice of seminars through the same link. Students may choose only those courses listed for their level of English. As courses fill, they will be removed from the list of Summer options.


Offerings remain free of charge for women in Afghanistan and are focused on synchronous meetings and independent reading and research.



Courses in English and Writing


Learning English through Speaking and Drawing

Professor Carmel Finnan

Low Intermediate students

This class focuses on developing students' communication skills, with emphasis on vocabulary building and grammar usage. Activities will use comics and cartoons to strengthen comprehension, reading, writing and speaking skills. Our goal in this class is to create our own individual comic strip at the end of the course. NO prior experience in drawing or art are necessary. Students must be able to draw circles o , lines / , crescents ( and dots to take part.

June 10 - July 24, Monday and Wednesday 13.00


English Grammar and Vocabulary: The World of Emotions

Professor Diana Craciun

Low Intermediate students

In this course, we will explore core elements of English grammar and vocabulary, starting with more basic notions and slowly building our way up. Each session will begin with a theoretical section focused on learning or revising grammar rules and vocabulary. Then, we will apply the new concepts through a series of interactive exercises, particularly focused on writing and speaking. Expect to write short texts, engage in role-playing activities, and practice daily English conversation. In addition to that, we will explore all of the above through the theme of emotions. We will discuss diverse emotional tendencies and learn ways to express the depth of our emotional lives.

June 19 - July 24, Thursdays 13.00 - 15.00


How Can We Make Our Language Learning More Effective?

Professor Natalia Parker

Low Intermediate - Advanced students

In this workshop, Natalia will examine language learning through the eyes of cognitive psychology. We hope that this workshop can help you view how you learn from a slightly different perspective, and perhaps answer some of the questions that any language learner asks themselves, trying to use the knowledge that they acquire in their lessons, in their practice when they speak or write in another language. We'll learn how our processing of learning material can be optimised, and suggest strategies to make language learning more effective. We will examine how our brains process, store, and retrieve information and how some recent scientific findings could be applied to real learning situations. After the first, general workshop, Natalia will conduct specific interactive workshops on how to develop your speaking and writing; and how to make the most of your reading and listening.

June 18. Further sessions TBA. Time TBA.


The Art of Caring in Reading and Writing

Professor Sarah Elizabeth Whitney

Intermediate students

In this class, we will explore how people can take care of each other in times of good and bad health. What does empathy really mean? Who is a caretaker? What is "self-care" and why is it important? We will read about how people practice care for others, the environment, and society, and we will learn to write and support our own ideas about ethics, care work and compassion. Students will do a lot of writing in different forms, including narrative, persuasive and creative. Some of our assignments will include creating and illustrating a short comic, writing and sharing recipes that are made with care, and interviewing caretakers in your own communities.

June 17 - TBA. Time TBA.


English Language Test Preparation

Professor Lucy Ferriss

Advanced students and instructor permission only

We will prepare for the TOEFL and other English language exams with practice in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in English, using examples from the TOEFL exam and other sources. At the end of the semester, students will take a practice TOEFL exam. All students who hope to take the Colloquium in Fall 2024 must take this seminar.

June 24 - August 14, Monday and Wednesday 16.15 - 17.30


English Grammar Classes


All levels

Optional classes at intermediate and advanced levels to improve your English grammar and usage. Team-taught by peer educators.


Courses in Literature and the Arts


International Dramatic Literature in English

Professor Kirstin Smith

Intermediate - Advanced students

In this six-week course, we will explore plays by women from around the world. In our seminars, we'll read scenes aloud together and discuss them, as well as learning about the plays' contexts. Our aims are to practise English through performance and reading, and to analyse each drama's structure, imagery, and themes. Plays will be by writers such as Thembelihle Moyo, Lynn Nottage, and Caryl Churchill.

June 20 - July 25, Thursday 18.30 - 20.30


Introduction to American Literature

Professor Sean McCann

High Intermediate - Advanced students

In this six-week course, students will be introduced to classic works of American literature, including texts by Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather. Students will develop skill in reading and interpreting literature in English and in critical writing. Assignments will include novels, poems, and memoirs in English and three short papers.

June 28 - July 26, Fridays 18.30 - 20.30


Music and Migration

Intermediate - Advanced students

Professor Sara Feili

This course is designed about Afghan music. In this course, we will examine the music of Afghanistan in terms of culture, language and geography. This class will be taught for 8 sessions.

June 13 - August 1, Thursdays, 18.00 - 19.00


Creative Collective: Art and Digital Media Collaboration Project

Facilitator: Jamila Hussaini

All students who have done works in painting, drawing, photography or have digital works are welcome to apply.

The Creative Collective: Art and Digital Media project is a unique, student-led initiative designed to bring together students with a passion for the visual arts, including painting, drawing, and digital media. This project aims to foster a collaborative environment where artists can share their work, inspire each other, and engage in creative dialogue. Participants will have the opportunity to work on individual projects as well as collaborate on larger, community-driven art pieces.

June 17 - July 31, day & time TBA


Courses in Philosophy and Social Science


Urban Planning

Professor Andrew Walsh

Intermediate – Advanced students

A global history of urban planning, beginning with ancient cities and moving to modern city planning.

June 17 - July 19, time TBA


* Plato

Professor Isaac Wilhelm

High Intermediate – Advanced students

Plato is one of the most innovative, and influential, philosophers in history. He helped develop a compelling, rigorous, and clear-headed methodology---of asking questions, and critically evaluating any proposed answers---for studying a variety of problems. Historically, that methodology contributed to the development of mathematics, science, history, the arts, philosophy itself, and more. But Plato's methodology is not a mere historical artifact. Practiced well, it can help us discover what is most valuable in life, correct our own biases and misapprehensions, and ultimately, uncover the deepest features of reality.

June 11 - July 4, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10.00 - 12.30 with some change in time during the session


* The Politics of Memory and Justice in Transitional Societies

Professor Jessie Barton-Hronesova
High Intermediate - Advanced students

This course sits at the intersection of two related fields: transitional justice that studies ways to deal with past human rights violations and memory politics that looks at who and how creates, transmits and reinvents collective memories and to what political purpose. By exploring the multifaceted and often country-specific approaches to justice and memory, we will evaluate the effectiveness and usefulness of the various methods of dealing with the past and study how new memory regimes have been forged in the post-World War II period.

June 24 - August 26, Mondays, 13.00 - 14.30


Europe and Its Legal Traditions

Professors Reut Paz and Christoph König

Intermediate - Advanced Students

This course is designed for all those who are interested in gaining a closer understanding of how history and law intermingle with European political thought and cultural practices. We will provide a broad and theoretical overview of European legal traditions from social, political, economic and comparative perspectives. Starting with Roman Law, its coverage ranges from discussing the authority of law in history, literature, economics and religion, through the creation of the European legal frameworks up to the establishment of a human rights tradition. Focus is given to the wider scope of legal developments in history that have shaped the conceptualization of law in present-day Europe and beyond.

June 20 - TBA, Thursdays, 15.30


Courses in Mathematics, Data Science, and Engineering

Note: Some courses require a mathematics placement test.


* Introduction to Research Techniques

Professor Xavier Prudent

Intermediate - Advanced students

This lecture will introduce you to fundamental methods in academic research: from the protocol design to the data collection and visualisation. Students will be expected to complete personal research projects, in which they will use statistics and project design. Even though the use of a personal computer (working station or laptop) be preferred, the lecture and the projects will be designed so that anyone with a phone and paper can complete them. Material includes weekly lectures, YouTube videos, pdf documents, and a "chat" channel. Collaborations between students are encouraged, so the strong may help the weak; stronger students will be challenged, while weaker students will be supported.

June 14 - September 6, Fridays 18.00


College Algebra

Professor Barbara Kaltenbacher
Intermediate - Advanced students. Low intermediate by instructor permission only.

Mathematics is a fundamental "language" needed for working in sciences, economics and engineering – and of course in mathematics itself. The purpose of this course is to refresh some known background from school and to augment it to a base of skills and tools on the level of a standard college algebra course.

June 27 - September 5, Thursdays, 10.00 - 11.30


Integral Calculus

Professor Elisa Francini

High Intermediate – Advanced students
This course presents the basic principles of Integral Calculus by examining definitions of antiderivatives, integrals, and their interconnections, along with practical applications. Special emphasis will be placed on real-world scenarios where integral calculus serves as a powerful analytical tool. Note: Students should have successfully completed a course on Differential Calculus. An admission test will be administered one week prior to the beginning of the course.

June 18 - July 23, Tuesdays 10.30 - 12.00


Fundamentals of Engineering Mechanics - Statics

Professor Saleh Keshawarz

Low Intermediate - Advanced students

Introduction to engineering mechanics via vector approach. Analysis of beams and other structural members under static force. Content could be modified based on students' educational background. Knowledge of algebra and trigonometry is required.

June 18 - July 16, Tuesday and Thursday 19.30 - 20.30


OSUN Credit-Bearing Courses for Advanced AFSO Students

AFSO has partnered with the Open Society University Network to enable advanced students nominated by AFSO to take select courses for university credit. Courses identified above with * are open to all high intermediate and advanced AFSO students as credit- or non-credit courses. Other classes are available only to advanced students who have taken AFSO classes and received permission.