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A: The Russian Flagship Program at IU launched in October 2018. As of spring 2019, there are 22 students enrolled in the program.
A: Students can participate in the Russian Flagship without pursuing the Russian major. However, it is easy to add the Russian major, should they desire to do so. The differences are in the focus/emphasis and the target outcomes. While Russian majors are expected to learn about literature, culture, and history of Russia, as well as study language beyond the second year, the Russian Flagship emphasizes language proficiency and trains students for real-world application of the language. To make sure that students reach this ambitious goal, the Flagship provides them with native-speaker tutors, additional funding for summer domestic and overseas training, and for the Capstone Year abroad, during which students spend the academic year in Almaty (Kazakhstan) fine-tuning their language skills and interning at local and international businesses using their language skills.
A: There are no fees to join or participate in the IU Russian Flagship Program. Russian language courses for Flagship students cost the same amount per credit as regular IU classes. Russian Flagship students enjoy a number of free benefits including: weekly tutoring, official language assessments, social and cultural events, and individualized mentoring and advising.
A: Russian Flagship students must participate in an 8-week intensive Russian language program abroad as part of the Flagship requirements. Students may choose from a number of study abroad programs and locations including the Advanced Russian Language & Area Studies Program (RLASP) or the Critical Language Scholarship programs both operated by American Councils, or one of the programs operated by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). There are currently two IU-sponsored Russian language study abroad programs: CIEE in St. Petersburg and RLASP in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
If students want to receive Flagship support for summer study abroad, they must participate in the 8-week RLASP program in Almaty, Kazakhstan run by American Councils. This program (located at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University) has been carefully vetted by the National Language Flagship in Washington D.C. and has been approved as a co-sponsored program by Indiana University’s Overseas Study Advisory Council. The IU Russian Flagship, the IU Office of Overseas Study (OVST), and American Councils place great emphasis on the safety and well-being of the study abroad participants. Each entity has established a set of measures to ensure the health and safety of all participants. You can read about the responsibilities of the IU Office of Overseas study here, and below are the measures put in place by American Councils:
The 2019 Advanced Russian Language & Area Studies Program (RLASP) 8-week summer study abroad program cost is $8,750 and includes: tuition and fees; academic credit through Bryn Mawr College; single-entry visa; housing with a local host family (includes 2 meals per day - breakfast and dinner) or housing in the university dormitory (double occupancy); pre-departure orientation in D.C.; in-country orientation; airport transportation; weekly excursions and cultural activities; health, accident, and evacuation insurance; in-country logistical support; and 24/7 emergency contact. Note: airfare is not included in the program cost.
A: In August of 2014, due to the decline in the relations between the United States and Russia, the Language Flagship made the decision to move the Russian Overseas Flagship Program to Almaty, Kazakhstan, and the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. Kazakhstan currently has a “Level 1” travel advisory by the State Department on their 4-tiered scale that provides safety and security information to U.S. citizens traveling abroad. This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk.
Spending the Capstone Year in Kazakhstan perfectly demonstrates the wide and diverse applicability of the Russian language. During their 9-month Capstone Year, students live with Russian-speaking host families, attend intensive Russian language courses, and apply their Russian language skills in a professional internship.
The 2019 estimated total cost of the Capstone Year in Almaty (to be remitted to American Councils) is $23,391. This amount includes: home stay lodging (2 meals a day weekdays and 3 meals a day on weekends); tuition; program fees; administrative fees; 3-day pre-departure orientation in D.C. (including meals, lodging, and airport transfers) and in-country orientation upon arrival to Almaty; bi-weekly cultural excursions and events; roundtrip airfare (hometown—D.C.—Almaty—hometown); visa; and accident and sickness insurance.
American Councils estimates that students should plan to spend up to $2,666 for additional expenses (not to be remitted to American Councils) such as: extra checked baggage (the first checked bag is free); books and supplies; local transportation; food/meals; and mobile phones and internet. This makes the estimated total cost $26,051.
The total cost of attendance for the Capstone Year abroad is roughly equal to the total cost of attendance for in-state, fulltime, undergraduate students at Indiana University for 2019-2020; and $24,823 less than the total cost of attendance for nonresident, fulltime, undergraduate students at Indiana University for 2019-2020.
A: Most forms of financial aid can be applied to an IU-administered study abroad program. There are some financial aid exceptions for students on co-sponsored and non-IU programs. Students wishing to use financial aid for study abroad program must follow the procedures outlined by the Office of Overseas Studies and IU Financial Aid.
According to the Office of Overseas Study, Indiana University students accessed more than $9 million in loans, grants and scholarships to study abroad in 2018-19.
There are a number of scholarships available to help defer the cost of pre-capstone study abroad programs and Capstone Year abroad. Please visit our funding page to learn more.
Russian Flagship students in good standing can receive up to $20,000 in Flagship Student Support during their time in the Russian Flagship Program. As of 2019-2020, we are authorized to give up to $3,500 for an approved domestic summer language program, up to $7,000 for an approved pre-capstone study abroad program, and up to $15,000 for the Capstone Year.
We also offer exclusive scholarship workshops tailored for Russian Flagship students. Flagship students also have access to funding resources on campus including free application reviews, and we regularly make announcements about scholarship information sessions as well as upcoming deadlines.
The summer break at IU typically lasts 15 weeks which means that students will have time to take an 8-week language course with plenty of time leftover to spend with family and friends at home or on vacation. The IU Summer Language Workshop runs from the end of May to the end of July which leaves 3 weeks before the program and 4 weeks after the program for rest and relaxation.
It is imperative that students reach their language proficiency benchmarks and maintain the integrity of their language. Taking 3 months off from studying Russian could have a serious effect on a students’ proficiency which is why we recommend enrolling in intensive summer language programs. These programs are also great time-savers: students complete one full language level in only 8 weeks leaving more time to focus on completing major requirements during the regular academic year.
A: When pursuing academic degrees and professional level language proficiency, “on-time” is a relative term and dependent upon a number of individual factors, including whether or not the student is pursuing a double-major or double-minor. The Russian Flagship Program typically takes 3-5 years to complete depending on the student’s Russian language level at the time they enter the program as well as how quickly they reach their language benchmarks. Students embark on the Capstone Year only once they have completed all of their coursework for their major(s). Generally speaking, participating in the Russian Flagship Program will only extend a student’s time as an undergrad by one year (if “on-time” means a 4 year graduation rate). The most recent data collected by Indiana University shows that the 2012 cohort of fulltime IU Bloomington undergraduate students had a 4-year graduation rate of 64% and a 6-year graduation rate of 78%. This means that Flagship students graduating in 5 years puts them well within the campus wide average.
A: Russian has been designated 1 of 15 critical languages by the United States government. Critical languages are less commonly taught in U.S. schools, but are crucial for national security and economic prosperity as well as essential to America’s positive engagement with the world.
Over 80 federal agencies rely on professionals with high-level competence in foreign languages and according to the Critical Language Scholarship Program, “Russian continues to be one of the most in-demand languages among employers in both the public and private sectors due to its international relevance and unique versatility.”
Some organizations that have hired Flagship graduates include:
Thanks to the internship portion of the Capstone Year, Russian Flagship students will graduate with practical experience using the Russian language in professional settings. Completing such a rigorous language program immediately demonstrates commitment, tenacity, and one’s ability to succeed to future employers. Flagship students also stand out as skilled cultural experts that will develop into strong global leaders.
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