Why Russian?

Because Russian language, culture, history, literature, and society are fascinating in their own right. Because you will ponder the eternal questions. Contemplate complexities. Explore the deepest depths and highest heights. Challenge yourself.
  • Group photo of students in Bowdoin sweatshirtsRussian is classified as a critical language by the US State Department, meaning Russian students are eligible for special funding, educational, and career opportunities.

  • Russian speakers and experts on Russian culture and society are in high demand in the US today, in fields like business, government, security studies, law, and diplomacy.

  • Russian is spoken by 280 million people worldwide and is the lingua franca throughout the countries of the former Soviet Union and much of Eastern Europe.

  • Russia is the largest country on the planet, stretching from Europe through Asia. A train trip from Moscow in the west to Vladivostok in the east takes seven days and passes through eight time zones.

  • Russian writers, artists, composers, dancers, and musicians since the early nineteenth century have created many of the world’s greatest masterpieces.

  • Russian-language writers have received six Nobel prizes in literature, while fifteen Russian and Soviet scientists have received the Nobel prize.

  • Over a quarter of the world’s scientific literature is published in Russian, more than in any other language except English.

  • From Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great to Lenin, Stalin, and now Putin, Russia has produced political leaders who have changed the course of history.