About the program

The Ferrum College major in Russian provides students fluency in oral and written communication, the ability to read, understand, and analyze Russian literature and cultivates a deep understanding of Russian culture, past and present. The major is designed to provide students with the fundamental linguistic and grammatical knowledge to understand spoken and written Russian, while also emphasizing hands-on opportunities for speaking and writing. For example, in this year's Advanced Russian I class, students are participating in an email exchange with Russian university students in Vladimir, Russia. Students in this same class will also be entering a Russian poetry translation contest at the end of the semester. Students in Russian classes are assessed in many different ways, ranging from memorizing Russian skorogovorki (tongue twisters) and saying them 10 times fast to reciting poems by famous Russian poets. 

Coursework in Russian

The curriculum incorporates a variety of topics to prepare students for opportunities in the field of Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and includes courses such as:

  • Russian Language through the Advanced Levels
  • Russian Civilization and Culture
  • 19th, 20th, and Contemporary Russian Literature
  • Russian and Soviet Cinema
  • Russian Folklore
  • Russia and the Caucasus
  • Independent study on topics of student interest (past topics have included Old Church Slavonic, intensive reading practice, and intensive speaking practice)

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Related Clubs

There are over 50 clubs and organizations available to students at Ferrum College. These are specifically related to Russian:

  • Russian Club - provides opportunities for students to learn more about Russian language and culture through film screenings, cooking classes, arts and crafts, and field trips. 

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Experiential & hands-on learning opportunities

International Opportunities: Ferrum College enjoys a unique relationship with the Pskov Pedagogical Institute in Pskov, Russia. This program brings a Pskov student each semester to the Ferrum campus. In return, Ferrum students take advantage of both short and long term internships and study opportunities in Pskov, including work in orphanages, on restoration projects, and participation in specially designed classes at the Pedagogical Institute.

Internships: Students are strongly urged to explore career opportunities and to establish mentors through an internship. Internships might involve working with the Sister Cities organization in Roanoke, teaching or tutoring Russian, or doing translation work under the advisement of an instructor. 

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What can I be with a major in Russian?

A major in Russian leads to traditional career paths, as well as less expected fields. For example:You could be a(n) ... CAPTIONTHIS

  • Teacher of Russian and/or other foreign languages
  • Journalist
  • Tour Organizer or Guide
  • Federal Law Enforcement Officer
  • International Trade Specialist
  • Intelligence Analyst for the CIA, NSA, or US military 
  • Astronaut! Did you know: American astronauts are required to have some knowledge of Russian?

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Recent Russian graduates and their careers

Ferrum graduates credit their program of study for landing jobs or other opportunities in their fields.

Ferrum Graduates have used their study of Russian to pursue graduate degrees, to pursue further language training with the United States military, or to secure employment with various Federal agencies or corporations.

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Russian Faculty

Dr. Rachel Stauffer (rstauffer@ferrum.edu)
Assistant Professor of Russian and Program Coordinator of Russian
Associate Director of International Programs
B.A. Randolph-Macon Woman's College
M.A. University of Virginia
Ph.D University of Virginia
(540) 365-4331

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