The opportunity to study abroad is a hallmark of the Russian Flagship experience. Students in the program are expected to study abroad two times: first on an introductory “pre-capstone” study abroad program for at least six weeks, usually completed during the summer, and then for an academic year on the Russian Overseas Flagship in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Russian Flagship students are required to complete a minimum of 6 weeks of participation in an intensive overseas Russian-language program at the secondary level or above prior to admission to the Russian Overseas Flagship (ROF) capstone year abroad. Most students fulfill this requirement by participating in a UW-Madison summer study abroad program to a Russian-speaking country.
UW-Madison study abroad programs include summer, academic year, and semester programs in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Vladimir, Russia and Almaty, Kazakhstan. The programs, offered by American Councils for International Education in partnership with UW-Madison, 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 American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages (AATSEEL) also maintains a listing of intensive overseas Russian language programs that may fulfill the pre-capstone study abroad requirement.
The Russian Overseas Flagship (ROF), located in Almaty, Kazakhstan and administered by American Councils for International Education, is an academic year study abroad program that provides students the opportunity for intensive, professional language training and development. The program offers Russian Flagship students access to courses and academic resources at well-respected centers and universities for the study of Russian language and culture.
Students on the ROF have the opportunity to direct enroll in courses on an audit or for-credit basis.
Russian Flagship students at UW-Madison must apply for admission to the Russian Overseas Flagship. 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.)
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 postcapstone 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, Current Student