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Russian

Russian skyline

Department Overview


The Russian program at Swarthmore College aims to give students the key to the nation that Winston Churchill in 1939 called “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”  Historically, the Russian people have made enormous contributions to world culture in music, literature, the arts, film, engineering and the sciences. With its sheer size and wealth of natural resources, today’s increasingly aggressive and powerful Russia is an important global player, for better or worse, making the study of Russia’s language and culture of continuing strategic importance.

Learn more here.

Moscow State University by night

Moscow State University by night (Charles Aprile '18)

Mayakovskaya Station in Moscow

Mayakovskaya Station in Moscow (Charles Aprile '18)

The Victor Tsoi Wall in Moscow's Arbat District

The Victor Tsoi Wall in Moscow's Arbat District (Charles Aprile '18)

Tian Shan Mountains in Spring, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Tian Shan Mountains in Spring, Almaty, Kazakhstan (Irina Bukharin '18)

Green Bazaar, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Green Bazaar, Almaty, Kazakhstan (Irina Bukharin '18)

Chapel under construction in Poporechnoe, Kazakhstan

Chapel under construction in Poporechnoe, Kazakhstan (Irina Bukharin '18)

Astana, Kazakhstan (Irina Bukharin '18)

Almaty, Kazakhstan

Almaty, Kazakhstan (Irina Bukharin '18)

Moscow State University by night (Charles Aprile '18)

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Why Study Russian?

1. Russian is the language of the largest country on the planet, spanning 11 time zones across Europe and Asia.
2. With over 270 million speakers worldwide, Russian is the 6th most widely spoken language on the planet.
3. Russian remains the lingua franca of central Asia, and is one of only six official languages at the UN.
4. Russian is designated a Critical Language by the State Department, which means more funding to study the language and more opportunities in the public sector.
5. Russian culture! It's the language of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovich, Tarkovsky, Eisenstein, Maleevich, Kandinsky, Chagall...and so many others!

Russian Language Table

*Language Tables will be held virtually for Fall '20!*
Please contact tyordan1@swarthmore.edu for more info. 

Native speakers are welcome to attend!

Russian Table

Choose a Language Program