Brady Wegner


Please introduce yourself to prospective students!

Hello! I’m Brady, a student ambassador for the Russian Flagship Program and a junior who’s majoring in Russian, Spanish, and International Studies. I love hiking, video games, cooking, and I always try to learn about new subjects and increase my vocabulary every day. I became interested in the Russian language after enrolling in a First-Year Interest Group at UW-Madison and have been enamored with the language ever since. I spent summer 2019 in Russia, and it was amazing to use the skills that I have developed thanks to the Russian Flagship Program.

How have your Russian language skills changed since joining the Russian Flagship Program?

Before starting my first year in Madison, I learned the Russian alphabet out of curiosity, and to prepare for my future classes. Since then I have taken four full semesters of Russian and two intensive summer courses, one of which took place in Russia. From this, I have gone from speaking little to no Russian, to being able to have full in-depth conversations in the language. The best example of this was my first night with my host family in St. Petersburg, when my host mother and I talked from 8:00 pm until midnight without using a single word of English!

What are some of your favorite aspects of the Russian Flagship Program?

My favorite parts of the Russian Flagship Program are the people. Students come from all kinds of backgrounds and fields of study, which is always fascinating to me. The faculty and staff are super supportive to us in our individual fields, in our learning of Russian, and as people in general!

Why is a professional level of proficiency in Russian important to you?

My proficiency is extremely important to me, as in the future I hope to work as a diplomat in either Russia or as a translator in any agency or business. Beyond that, I really enjoyed traveling through Russia and hope that I can do so again soon!

What advice do you have for students who are considering the Russian Flagship Program?

Go for it! This program will help you in so many ways, even if you do not see yourself using Russian in the future, it serves as a great résumé builder that attests to your skills in a professional field. Beyond that, it is amazing for personal development. I have learned so much and have grown so much from the Russian Flagship Program. Lastly, I would say that it just feels good to attain a high level of language proficiency, especially when you consider that you started from the very beginning!