The largest country in the world, Russia covers 1/6 of the earth's landmass. The Russian capital, Moscow, is not only Europe's largest city, with almost 11 million people, but has become a cosmopolitan destination for artists, musicians, writers, and, more recently, shoppers. Russian remains the lingua franca of the former Soviet Union, with over 250 million speakers worldwide. Take a look below at just some of the reasons to study Russian.
National Security: The U. S. Department of State has designated Russian a "critical need" language and offers funding opportunities for study in Russia. The Russian Federation is rivaled only by the United States in its stockpile of nuclear weapons. Russia serves as one of five permanent members on the UN Security Council and the Obama administration has made "resetting " relations with Russia a major foreign policy priority. See the recent Foreign Policy piece on the top 10 reasons "Why Russia Matters."
Service: Russian skills can help you beyond the corporate world as well. The CIA and FBI actively recruit Russia specialists, while the Peace Corps, World Bank, and numerous NGOs under the auspices of USAID are currently working in Russia or Russian-speaking regions of the former Soviet Union.
Business: From Citibank and Ford to Starbucks and IKEA, western businesses are heavily invested in Russia, thus presenting opportunities for Americans with Russian-language skills.
Oil: As recent disputes over gas shipments to western Europe reveal, Russia cannot be ignored in this age of "Petropolitics." The Russian gas giant Gazprom alone surpasses the entire country of Iraq in hydrocarbon reserves under its control.
Arts & letters: Literature: Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Nabokov . . . Music: Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Stravinsky . . . Painters: Kandinsky, Malevich, Chagall . . . Theater: Stanislavsky, Meyerhold .. . Film: Eisenstein, Tarkovsky, Sokurov . . . Dance: Vaganova, Diaghlev, Baryshnikov . . . Need we say more?
Sports: Both the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia!
Russian@Davidson: Every year Davidson hosts a Fulbright student from Russia to serve as Russian AT, host Russian table,and connect our students with contemporary Russian culture. Davidson Russian students regularly study abroad with top programs, including Middlebury in Moscow and CIEE in St. Petersburg.