The opportunity to study abroad is a hallmark of the Russian Flagship experience. Students in the program study abroad at least twice: first for a “pre-capstone” study abroad program for at least six weeks, usually completed during the summer term, and then for an academic year on the Russian Overseas Flagship capstone program in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Russian Flagship students are required to complete a minimum of 6 weeks of study abroad in an approved intensive Russian-language program at the secondary or post-secondary level prior to application to the Russian Overseas Flagship (ROF) capstone program. This pre-capstone study abroad program must include at least 20 hours per week of formal academic instruction in Russian and a homestay with a Russian-speaking family.
Most students fulfill this requirement by participating in one of two UW-Madison-approved summer study abroad programs to a Russian-speaking country. The Russian Language and Area Studies Program (RLASP) includes summer, academic year, and semester programs in Almaty, Kazakhstan and Yerevan, Armenia and is offered by American Councils for International Education in partnership with UW-Madison. The UGA Immersion in Russian Language, Culture, and Communities in the Baltics (IRLCCB) is a summer program in Riga, Latvia and is offered through University of Georgia as an approved UW affiliate program.
Both of these programs are designed to maximize linguistic and cultural immersion in a Russian-speaking society, with an emphasis on the development of practical speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.
The Russian Overseas Flagship (ROF) Capstone Program, located in Almaty, Kazakhstan and administered by American Councils for International Education, is a rigorous academic yearlong program for qualifying Russian Flagship students from all U.S. Russian Flagship programs who have achieved an Advanced (ILR 2) proficiency in Russian and wish to reach a Superior (ILR 3). The ROF includes intensive, professional language training and development through coursework in Russian as a foreign language that targets the Superior level of proficiency, courses in the student’s major field of study, individual and small-group tutoring, a professional internship, and a homestay with a Russian-speaking family.
UW-Madison Russian Flagship students must apply for admission directly to the ROF. Applications are usually due in mid-January for the following academic year. Students must plan far in advance to apply for the program and to meet Russian proficiency and pre-capstone study abroad eligibility requirements. (Participation in an intensive Russian-language study abroad program at the secondary level or beyond for a minimum of 6 weeks is required for students to be eligible to apply to the ROF. This pre-capstone study abroad program must include at least 20 hours per week of formal academic instruction in Russian and a homestay with a Russian-speaking family.)
Note: Students must complete applications for the ROF both through the UW-Madison Office of International Academic Programs (IAP) and through the Institute of International Education.
The Language Flagship has three levels of recognition for students who complete Language Flagship programs:
Flagship Certification with Distinction: Completion of a Domestic Flagship Program and an Overseas Capstone experience, including direct enrollment and an internship, as well as meeting or exceeding the proficiency minimum of ILR 3 in speaking, reading, and listening. ILR 3 proficiency or higher must be demonstrated in all three modalities to be eligible for certification with distinction.
Flagship Certification: Completion of a Domestic Flagship Program and an Overseas Capstone experience, including direct enrollment and an internship, as well as meeting or exceeding the proficiency minimum of ILR 3 in speaking, and an ILR 2+ in reading and listening.
Flagship Completion: Completion of a Domestic Flagship Program and an Overseas Capstone experience, including direct enrollment and an internship, as well as the demonstration of a post-capstone proficiency of less than ILR 3 in speaking.
"The program helped transform Russian from a simple academic subject to an actual second language. My summer study abroad initiated that transition, and since then, Russian feels much more like a way of thinking than some classroom exercise, not only in reading and writing, but as a conversation tool.”Justin Magoon, UW-Madison Russian Flagship Alum