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Spring 2018 Newsletter

Dear Reader,

We are pleased to publish the first issue of the Flagship Newsletter!

This newsletter will inform and update you on Flagship activities throughout the year -- we'll publish one issue each quarter! With this first issue, we would like to introduce you to one of our alumni, Daniel Higuchi. Daniel, having majored in Political Science and Russian Studies, studied abroad in Almaty for his capstone year in 2014. Below, you'll find an interview with Daniel conducted by a Flagship student ambassador.

We are also featuring two of our five student ambassadors: Tyler Le and Leslie Ro. Tyler is currently a sophomore majoring in Bioengineering. Leslie is a senior, double majoring in Political Science and Russian Studies. In this issue, they discuss what Flagship means to them.

Below, we have included a news article in both English and Russian that may be of interest to you. We have also listed a few Flagship-related events and opportunities. To see a full list of events happening this quarter, visit our Events page.

Lastly, the International Institute has published an article in memory of Dr. Olga Kagan. To read the article, click here.

Thanks for reading!

Interview with Daniel Higuchi

The big question that everyone including your dog, cat, and the squirrel across the street always asks: Why Russian Flagship?

I chose to join the Russian Flagship Program because of the quality of instruction in the Russian department at UCLA, the increased rigor of study, and the incredible opportunities to have culturally and linguistically immersive experiences in Russian-speaking countries. 

What do you do as a career with what you've learned from the Russian Flagship Program?

I am currently the Field Studies Program Manager in the International Student Management Office at the National Defense University in Washington, DC. I oversee a yearlong travel program for senior foreign military officers representing over 60 countries that study in-residence at NDU. I am able to speak Russian with our officers from Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and my experience living abroad and immersing myself in foreign cultures through the Russian Flagship Program allows me to empathize with our officers who are all going through similar experiences here in the United States.  

Many people are concerned with how to market themselves after having completed the Russian Flagship Program? What would you say to them?

Never underestimate the value of both your command of a strategic language and extensive cultural knowledge of a geopolitically critical region. The tools and the confidence that you acquire over the course of the Russian Flagship program are invaluable and will continue to pay dividends. Your hard skill is your language aptitude, but your ability to communicate and build relationships with people of different cultures and backgrounds will serve you well in any career field.  

Looking back on your study abroad programs, what would you say you learned the most from them? Was it a life-changing experience in any way and how did it push you to your career path?

My study abroad experiences first and foremost granted me a unique perspective not only on life in Russia and Kazakhstan, but also on my own life here in the states. My biggest take-away from my time abroad was my own adaptability - how quickly we as humans are able to adjust to different conditions and lifestyles and make them our own. I would agree that both Russia and Kazakhstan were life-changing experiences, but not in the grandiose, epiphany-inducing way the term is thrown around. There are a myriad of small ways in which my time abroad positively influences my everyday life, and I am truly thankful to have had these opportunities.  

Motivational Russian phrase for those toughing it out in the program.

Всё, что ни делается - всё к лучшему. [Whatever happens, it's all for the best.] 

To read Daniel's article with the International Institute Click here

Student Ambassadors
For Tyler Le, Flagship just isn't about the Russian language. It's about delving into a whole new culture with its own set of rules, customs, and traditions, embracing a whole new perspective, and viewing the world through a different set of lenses. The program requires dedication and perseverance, but will ultimately lead to greater success, whether you decide to use Russian in your future career or not. The ability to communicate and relate with people of different cultures will continue to pay dividends into the future. Though it can be challenging, the faculty involved with Flagship is incredibly supportive and provides all the tools you need for success.                
Leslie Ro is a fourth-year Political Science and Russian Studies student who applied to the Russian Flagship Program during her senior year of high school. As an LA transplant, she had a difficult  time assimilating to Los Angeles culture. Thankfully, through the program, she  made some amazing, lifelong friends who have taught her many important lessons. She also  learned about herself and her ability to work harder than she ever had to before. During her  time as a student in the Flagship Program, she studied abroad in Almaty, Kazakhstan where she met  some of her best friends and explored parts of the world she never would have explored otherwise. Through the program, she not only learned a new language and learned it fairly well, but she also formed new relationships, explored the world, and grew academically and professionally.

More from Flagship

In the News
Syria air strikes: Russia denies tampering with suspected chemical attack site

Russia has denied interfering with evidence at the site of the suspected Syrian chemical attack, which led to Western air strikes on Saturday.

In an interview for BBC's Hardtalk ...

continue reading →
Read in Russian

Upcoming Events

Here's what's happening in Flagship and the surrounding community right now:

Annual Luncheon 
April 22nd | 11:30 - 2:00 | Royce 306
RSVP by 4 p.m. Wed., April 18

17th Annual Russian Arts and Culture Festival
May 20, 2018 | 11 am - 7 pm |  Plummer Park, West Hollywood
If you are interested in going as a group for a fieldtrip, contact Heleana Melendez

Additional Opportunities

Every so often, we come across programs and jobs we think you might be interested in. Be sure to take a look!

Program Officer, Russian Flagship and Flagship Language Initiative Programs
Based in Washington DC, the Program Officer will be responsible for the administration and operations of the Russian Overseas Flagship Program and the African Languages Initiative (AFLI) programs for sub-Saharan Africa and will provide support periodically for other Flagship programs.

Virtual Student Federal Service
Students can apply each year from July 1-31 on 
There are several jobs that need Russian speakers! Participating agencies include: CIA, NASA, USAID, USDA and State Department.

Internship/Recent Grads Program
For current students and those who've graduated within the past two years, these programs offer experience, career development, and mentorship.
Under "Explore Hiring Paths," select "Students & Recent Graduates"

Copyright © 2018 UCLA Russian Flagship Program, All rights reserved.

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