Study Abroad Student Handbook
Russia Russia
Center for Global Education

Why Learn a Language?

Over 150 million people in the Russian Federation speak Russian, and it remains the unofficial language of a majority of the former Soviet republics. Russian is also one of the five official languages of the United Nations (UN). It belongs to the Slavic group of languages and is the 5th most widely spoken language in the world. "Cyrillic" is the official name of the 33-letter Russian alphabet, which is named for the credited creator St. Cyril. You may think that the different alphabet would make Russian difficult to learn, but it’s said to be relatively easy because nearly half of Russian letters resemble English and Greek ones. What's more, modern Russian, like many other languages, borrows a lot of words and expressions from English.

The number of students learning Russian has declined since the end of the Cold War, but it is still a widely used language that will give you the competitive edge in any international business that has ties with Eastern Europe. And Russia itself is a growing economic power that still has a firm hold in science, politics, and culture. Some of the great classics of literature and theatre come from Russia, such as Tolstoy and Mayakovski, and understanding their original language will allow you to experience their full, intended effect.

If you are interested in an international career, an insider's understanding of Russia's language and culture are an absolute must. You should be familiar with Russian customs and business practices. Students who have learned Russian can use their skills in the media, advertising, publishing, architecture, archeology, and computer technology as well as many other professions. However, the most accessible roles for those who learn Russian remain in the fields of politics, science and education.

Russians, especially the younger generation, want to learn English. For that reason, there are many teaching positions available in Eastern Europe. Thanks in part to increased globalization, Russians have already westernized in many ways. Becoming a bilingual teacher in English and Russian, with a solid background in Russian culture, will undoubtedly open the door to many opportunities.

Russia is currently undergoing an evolutionary process. Few places in the world are in such a state of transition. If you have any interest in peace relations, economic development, or foreign affairs, then learning Russian will give you a first hand experience in - and perhaps make you an indispensable part of - this historical process.

Read on – Why Study Abroad and find answers how study abroad can affect your personal growth and career path.

Country Specific
Student Handbooks
Study Abroad
Program Search
TerraDotta logo