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Russian skyline

Department Overview

The Russian Program at Swarthmore College aims to give students a broad view of Russian language, literature, and culture. Historically, Russian people have made enormous contributions to world culture in music, literature, the arts, engineering, and the sciences. (Did you know that Sofya Kovalevskaya (1850-1891) was the world's first female professor of mathematics. Though she got her higher education outside Russia.) Today the Russian Federation is an important global player, for better or worse, which makes the study of Russia's language and culture of continuing strategic importance. The Russian language is an important tool for communication in Central Asia and the Trans-Caucasus and great study-abroad programs are available there. 

Learn more here.

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

Russian Table meets on Mondays in the DCC room 209. This is a chance not only to speak Russian and perhaps to chat about Russian foodways, but also to meet the other students who know or study Russian, and a shifting mix of faculty who speak or work on the language and culture - native speakers are welcome to attend!

Russian Table

Choose a Language Program