Student Opportunities

Church of the Intercession on the Nerl

Study or Intern Abroad

Students are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester studying abroad in Russia or in another Russian-language immersion setting. Bowdoin's Off-Campus Study Office currently offers two options for semester- or year-long Russian language study in various cities across Russia. The American Councils of Teachers of Russian (ACTR) Russian Language and Area Studies (RLASP) program has locations in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Vladimir. The Middlebury in Russia program has locations in Moscow, Irkutsk, and Yaroslavl). Both programs are open to all students who have taken the equivalent of two years of Russian. Other programs may be approved on a case-by-case basis, and several of these are listed below.

Students returning from study abroad will be expected to take two courses in the department unless exceptions are granted by the chair. Two courses from a one-semester study abroad program may be counted toward the Russian or EEES major; four courses may be counted toward the Russian major and three courses toward the EEES major from a year-long program.

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Bowdoin College is committed to making semester and academic year study abroad programs financially feasible for all students. Families who receive Bowdoin aid will be able to transfer that aid toward the total cost of their student’s program, up to the total cost of a semester on-campus. For more information, see the financial information page on the Off-Campus Study website. In addition, there are a number of external sources of funding for intensive Russian language study abroad (these can be particularly useful for students considering summer study abroad programs). These include the following:

Dacha scene

Undergraduate Funding Opportunities

Post-Graduate Funding Opportunities

Kandinsky painting

Venues for Student Research

Students are encouraged to pursue opportunities to showcase their original research at conferences and symposia on or off campus and/or in journals of undergraduate research. The many opportunities to do so include the following:

Conferences and Symposia

Undergraduate Journals

  • The Birch: Undergraduate Journal of Slavic, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies (at Columbia University) - online and print journal published annually spring and fall; features undergraduate creative writing; scholarly essays on culture, politics, society, philosophy, and literary criticism; art and photography; translations and book reviews
  • Vestnik, the Journal of Russian and Asian Studies (at SRAS) - published online and in PDF annually spring and fall; features outstanding undergraduate and graduate student work on subjects related to Russia, the USSR, and/or any state formerly a part of the USSR, including art, history, literature, politics, and international relations
  • Verges: Germanic & Slavic Studies in Review (at the University of Victoria) - peer-reviewed journal that features outstanding work by graduate students and upper-level undergraduates on topics relating to literature, linguistics, pedagogy, culture, history, art, music, film, politics, and memory studies

Collaboration with Yale University's Slavic DepartmentAlexander Pushkin

The Russian Department at Bowdoin is engaged in an exciting multi-year collaboration with the Slavic Department at Yale University that is being funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This collaboration, among other things, provides for Bowdoin students at the advanced level in their Russian studies to enroll in courses taught by Yale faculty at Yale via Bowdoin's new "telepresence classroom" in the Media Commons of Hawthorne-Longfellow Library, which has been fitted with audio-sensitive cameras, high-definition screens, and interactive whiteboards designed to make the classroom experience highly interactive and to allow students to interact with far-off professors and classmates as if they were in the room with them. The first such "telepresence" course will be Advanced Russian I taught at Yale in Fall 2017 and open to Bowdoin students. In addition to the shared courses, the Mellon-funded collaboration provides for a recent Yale Ph.D. to come to Bowdoin as a post-doctoral fellow each year (Rita Safariants occupies this position in 2016-17) and also provides funding to support a wide array of shared extra-curricular possibilities, which may include visits by faculty and/or students between the two campuses to give talks or presentations, participate in conferences and symposia, benefit from local resources, and/or collaborate on research or creative projects.