David Murphy, Ph.D., Division Coordinator
Why Study Russian?
There are 1001 reasons why you should study Russian. Let's consider some of them.
1) Russian is a World Language
Russian is one of the 5 official languages of the United Nations. It is spoken by 150 million people who live in the Russian Federation, which is still the largest country in the world and is almost twice the size of the United States. It spans eleven time zones and covers about 1/8th of the world's land surface. Russian is also spoken in other countries of the world including the USA.
There are about 20 thousand émigrés from Russia living in Saint Louis who would be thrilled to speak with you in their language! Russian is not an easy language to learn, but it is an intellectual challenge worth taking. Mastering this major Slavic language is invaluable for students' personal development. No wonder that the graduates who have Russian as their major have such high rate of admission to prestigious graduate and professional schools and hold a great number of government and business jobs.
For more information see: www.russian.net
2) The Russian Language is the Gateway to Russian Culture
Students who study Russian have special access to an understanding of Russian culture, the culture that has always been prominent on the world stage: the literature of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, the poetry of Pushkin and Yevtushenko, the music of Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky, the fine art of Repin and Chagal, the films of Eisenstein and Mikhalkov.
For more information about resources, see: www.vor.ru/culture
Students who study Russian have special access to understanding Russian history and Russia today: the Christianization of Rus., the imperial glory of the House of the Romanovs, the rise and fall of communism, the democratization and the restructuring of today's Russia. These issues are essential for understanding not only Russia, but also the world today.
For more information about resources, see: the Bucknell University Russian History page.
Students of Russian who join the study abroad program will acquire first-hand knowledge of the Russian people who are famous for their hospitality and generosity and place high value on friendships and interpersonal communication.
For more information about resources, see: www.russnet.org, www.schools.ash.org.au
3) Russian is a Great Career asset
The increasing demand for Russian experts is mainly attributed to the important role the Russian Federation plays in the modern world. Expertise in Russian studies is needed in many fields: in US Government Agencies such as State Department (29% of all Sate Department jobs require language expertise), the Armed Forces, NASA, and in private businesses (e.g. Microsoft, Delta, Reebok, Ford, AT&T, Avon, Hewlett Packard, etc.), in Non-Profit Organizations (e.g. Amnesty International, Green Cross, International Resettlement Agencies, Peace Corp, IREX, ACTR/ACCELS, Mother & Child), just to name a few.
For more information about career opportunities, see www.usajobs.gov
4) Business in Russia
Russia has changed dramatically in the last decade. With the new leadership, democratization is gaining momentum and the Russian economy is booming. American companies realize the growing potential of the Russian market and business analysts predict further growth of trade volume and larger US investments in the Russian economy. Russia is the TOP oil producer in the world and is a tremendous potential market for US goods and services.
Experts expect an increase in demand for American made equipment related to the energy sector, timber, and food processing equipment, as well as aircraft, air traffic control equipment, among other economic sectors. In the year 2000, the Russian trade balance was in surplus to the tune of $50 billion.
For more information, go to www.bisnis.doc.gov
5) Russian at Saint Louis University
The Russian program in SLU has been operating successfully for over fifty years. Here students benefit from working closely in small classes with experienced professors and native speakers who focus on communicative and interactive approaches to language acquisition. Students can practice their communicative skills in the stress-free environment of weekly lunches with the native speaking faculty, watch a Russian film once a month, participate regularly in Russian cultural events on campus and in the Greater Saint Louis.
They can hear lectures on Russian culture and current politics presented by visitors from Russia. Moreover, students can cook a Russian meal and eat it together in the cordial atmosphere of the Russian Club. Also available is a summer or a semester of study in Russia where students can perfect their language skills and immerse into Russian culture and lifestyle.
Come aboard and join the club!
For more ideas and a video "Why study Russian?" go to AATSEEL & ACTR Web site: http://www.russnet.org/why/index.html
News from the Russian Division at Saint Louis University:
In the fall of 2009, the Department of Modern & Classical Languages celebrated 50 years of Russian Studies at Saint Louis University. Included in the observation of this important anniversary was a display in Pius Memorial Library of photos and memorabilia from the history of the program.
Click here to see more photos from this event.
Spring Course - A Taste of Russia
The Russian Division is excited to offer a 1-credit hour hands-on seminar devoted to Russian Cuisine. The course is designed to introduce students to Russian cultural
Prof. Nelly Grosswasser Scholarship for Russian Studies
Coincidental with the observation of the 50th anniversary of Russian Studies at Saint Louis University was the conferral of the first Prof. Nelly Grosswasser Scholarship Award to a senior Russian Studies Major. The scholarship has been set up to honor Professor Grosswasser, the person most responsible for the establishment and growth of Russian Studies at the University over a teaching career that spanned almost one-half a century.
Russian MaslenitsaThe Taste of Russia class and the Russian Club invited everybody to a party celebrating "Maslenitsa" (Russian Butter week or Mardi Gras) on Thursday, March 6th, 2008.