Dear Flagship Students and Alumni, 

We hope you are all enjoying your summer and finding time to relax! We are very excited to return to campus in the fall after a difficult year and a half. As we prepare for this return, we wanted to highlight the variety of ways that our students have been using Russian this summer. In addition, we are featuring some exciting new Flagship podcasts and Kazakh language tutorials created by Flagship student Joseph Matveyenko and a Russian travel account to build excitement to practice Russian and start traveling again. 

As always, if you have any questions, if there is any way that we can support you or if you have any life updates to share, please reach out to us at 

Warm regards, 

The Flagship Team 

In the summer, St. Petersburg is famous for its White Nights, a two-month period from May to July when the city is light almost 24 hours a day.

Some Student Stories: Expanding My Russian This Summer

This summer, Juliette Oliver has been maintaining and using her Russian language skills by participating in the Department of State funded Critical Language Scholarship and the US-Russia Foundation Undergraduate Think Tank. In the Think Tank, Juliette is working with fellow undergraduates to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies by conducting research in underrepresented fields. Specifically, Juliette is using her Russian language skills to conduct research on the comparative effects of language policy and revitalization in Russia on the Indigenous peoples of the Sakha Republic and the Republic of Buryatia. This includes using Russian to read Russian legislation and search through Russian social media sites to study the dialogues happening in these republics surrounding the new changes in language policy.

Elyse Ostroske has been participating in the Russian Language and Area Studies Program (RLASP), studying virtually with professors from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, located in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The program is based around small-group lectures on various topics including grammar, writing, phonetics, and the international relations and history of Central Asia. KazNU students conduct weekly cultural activities for the program participants. Elyse also meets individually with professors and a language partner to practice her conversational skills and work on implementing what she has learned in class. 
Kristine Carrillo has been studying Russian virtually with the KORA Russian Language Institute in Vladimir, Russia for the Critical Language Scholarship Program.  Though only five weeks have passed, she has already noticed an expansion of her working vocabulary, greater use of more complex grammar in speech, and improvements in her reading and writing skills. Besides attending classes online, there are also weekly cultural activities, most of which have involved singing Russian folk songs and learning how to prepare common Russian meals.  Kristine also meets with a language partner from Vladimir for a few hours each week to practice speaking and attain some insight into contemporary Russian culture. Her language partner took her on a mini-video excursion around Vladimir. Kristine is extremely grateful for the opportunity to have instructors who provide detailed feedback on her current language ability and share resources to help push her further. She is also thankful for the students in her CLS cohort, who encourage her to keep working hard. 

Flagship Podcasts and Kazakh Tutorials

One of our Flagship students, Joseph Matveyenko, has been working on a number of projects to highlight Kazakhstan and Central Asia. On our website, you can find the podcast interviews that he has released so far, which touch on various student experiences on study abroad as well as different professional or independent projects that students have worked on in connection with the region. You can find the podcasts here under "Kazakhstan and Central Asia." In addition, he has recorded a couple brief video tutorials with Stanford CREEES MA graduate Stu McLaughlin on basic Kazakh phrases to help students going abroad. So far, he has prepared videos on how to say “Hello,” “Goodbye,” and “How are you?” All of the videos are linked here, and you can watch the first one below. 

Travel videos to explore Russia 

Below, you will find a link to a Russian travel video which displays stunning views of Lake Baikal in the winter. The channel  has a number of videos filmed in places throughout Russia and Europe. Check it out as a fun way to practice Russian and discover new places to travel!

For more fun Russian language resources, check out the June edition of our Chai newsletter. 

Upcoming Events

*Please note - 3:00pm PDT.
Wednesday, September 22nd (1:00-2:00pm): Open House for the Dept of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Languages and Cultures, 348 Kaplan Hall, 415 Portola Plaza.

Wednesday, September 22nd (2:00-4:00pm): Humanities Welcome, Schoenberg Music Hall, 1100.
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