The Capstone Year
Once students reach level 2 proficiency at IU they are ready to take their language skills overseas and embark on the final step in completing the Russian Flagship program. The Russian Overseas Flagship, or the Capstone Year, is an IU co-sponsored program operated by American Councils for International Education. It takes place from August-May at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU) in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
While completing the Capstone Year, students take intensive Russian language classes, live with Russian-speaking host families, and participate in cultural activities and excursion trips around Almaty and throughout the region. Students also take Kazakh language courses, complete an original research project related to their academic interests, and enroll in a special direct enrollment course of their choosing that is taught in Russian. Imagine being an IU International Studies major who gets to take “Representations of International Conflicts in the Media” taught in Russian. Now, imagine getting to take this course with students from Russia and Central Asia as well as Flagships students from programs across the U.S.
One of the most exciting parts of the Capstone program is the opportunity to complete a professional internship. Students work with American Councils to select an internship based on their career goals and interests. In the past, students have interned at Price Waterhouse Cooper; the Institute of Biology and Biotechnology; the Television Production Company “Business TV”; and various academic departments at KazNU including economics, international cooperation, translation, and linguistics.
By the time students return to IU they will have achieved level 3 proficiency in Russian, become experts in Russian and Central Asian culture, completed an international internship, and joined a global network of like-minded young professionals. Upon successful completion of the Capstone program, students will receive official Flagship Certification from the Department of Defense. They will also receive IU credit for the Russian classes and the Direct Enrollment course.