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