Please introduce yourself to prospective students!
Hello! I’m currently a junior, studying Russian and International Studies. I enjoy spending my time exploring the city, going on walks on the Lakeshore Path, and spending time with my friends, most of whom I’ve met through the Russian Flagship. When I’m not studying Russian, I’m usually watching a movie, listening to music, or playing video games. I’m really excited to get to know prospective students and to tell them about all the amazing opportunities the program has to offer!
How have your Russian language skills changed since joining the Russian Flagship Program?
I joined the program relatively early in my college career, at the start of the spring semester of my first year of college. Since then, my language skills have improved dramatically. I went from knowing absolutely no Russian whatsoever and in two years I was studying abroad in Kazakhstan! It blows my mind how much I’ve improved in just 3 short years of studying Russian. Of course, I’m nowhere near fluent yet, but my confidence in understanding and speaking Russian have absolutely skyrocketed since joining the program.
What are some of your favorite aspects of the Russian Flagship Program?
The support you receive is one of the most important aspects of the program for me. Every step of the way, there are advisors there to help you plan out classes and when to apply for study abroad programs, and there are tutors to help with any questions about grammar, language, culture, etc. In addition, the friends I’ve met in the program are some of the most important people in my life. When I came to college, I didn’t know anyone and only began meeting people once I joined the Russian Flagship. So the program isn’t only helpful academically, but socially as well. The opportunity to study abroad for a summer as well as for a full academic year is also something that was very important to me, as I felt studying abroad was something I should experience at some point during my college career.
Why is a professional level of proficiency in Russian important to you?
It’s my dream to become fluent in a foreign language. It’s something I’ve wanted since I was a kid. I never thought it was possible until I joined this program. Additionally, I aspire to work in a government job, maybe in an embassy or with a federal agency, and in that case, I need to be fluent in Russian to make it a viable part of my career.
What advice do you have for students who are considering the Russian Flagship Program?
If you are considering joining this program, I would say go for it! You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain in terms of language acquisition, new friends, and incredible opportunities, with advisors and professors there to support you every step of the way. Even if you think you might be too busy to participate, I guarantee you it’s possible to fit everything in your schedule, and if there are ever conflicts, advisors are more than willing to help you organize classes and accommodate all the necessary tutoring sessions for you, should you choose to join. Ultimately, the opportunities provided by the Russian Flagship can be found in few other places, so if you want to learn Russian and gain skills that will only be increasingly helpful as you go through life, then the Russian Flagship Program is for you!