The Russian language and culture has long been the subject of world fascination. From the ideals of Marx, to the cruel leadership of Stalin, to the brilliance of Dostoevsky, this thinking can literally change the world. Woe is if you do not do everything you can to absorb this amazing culture. In fact, you can make a whole career out of it by studying Russian language and literature at the University of Maryland at College Park.
What Do You Learn at the UMCP?
The program for Russian language and culture begins with a discussion of elementary Russian language, as well as intermediate grammar and advanced writing and speaking style. Practicum and Russian writing is also reviewed. Elective subjects are only taught in Russian and students are expected to maintain a GPA of 2.0 for these studies. Not only is reading and writing discussed, but listening and speaking are also detailed, and students are encouraged to communicate with other students; not merely review textbook information. As the studies progress, phonetics will be discussed, as well as Russian native intonation.
The plot thickens, literally, as Russian literature is reviewed. Not only will you familiarize yourself with the works of Dostoevsky, but you will also feast your eyes upon the likes of Tolstoy. Literature encompasses modern greats too, including the 20th century authors like Chekhov, Bulgakov, Nabokov and Erofeev. Most of these authors were banned by the then Russian government, and a proper understanding of former and modern culture is imperative. You will also be shown artistic and social concepts that define Russian culture, including politics, history, geography, and even performance art. Understanding concepts of freedom is also important, not only from a U.S. perspective, but from a Russian perspective. New technology’s place in modern Russian culture also begs review and debate. Students will not only be taught the texts and wisdom, but also the tools of analysis and interpretation. There are even studies in Russian cinema, Russian feminists, psychology and spirituality.
The Fun and Studious Nature of UMD’s Coursework
The Russian literature bachelor’s degree program is not only informative and practical, but also fun. Students are encouraged to be creative and will actually write fairy tales, soap operas, funny letters and other trifles along with debates, academia and fiction/nonfiction.
Perhaps the greatest feature of this UMD bachelor’s degree program is that students can actually go overseas to learn, teach, work, and experience an international perspective. Even at home, you will be able to collaborate with practical experience, as you live in St. Mary’s Language House, an association of students that come from various backgrounds.
There are also provisions made with the Annual SLLC Undergraduate Research Forum, which allows students to display their work, research, and achievements to the public and to faculty. The Annual Language Career and Internship Fair can help students find internship experience, while the Language Partner Program is a co-op opportunity that lets you meet with an international student for excellent practice sessions.
You may know some Russian and perhaps have read the brilliant Russian authors in English. However, not taking in the full culture is truly missing out on what defines the culture and language. Take a step forward and become immersed in Russian language and literature!