2013 Language Institute: Ufa, Russia
Note: Information below refers to the 2013 CLS Institutes and is subject to change.
The CLS institute in Ufa covers approximately one academic year of university-level Russian study during the 8-week program, and is designed to meet the needs of students from a range of language levels and backgrounds. Students range in proficiency and experience from those who have completed the minimum required two years of college-level study or the equivalent, to heritage speakers already at an advanced level of proficiency.
Students take classes at Bashkir State Pedagogical University in the city of Ufa, the capital of the republic of Bashkortostan. Formal classroom instruction consists of approximately four hours per day of language classes, five days per week. Students at more advanced levels may be assigned an independent project, for which they will conduct research with guidance and support from instructors. Cultural excursions, lectures, and other enrichment activities are designed to support and enhance language learning and exposure to the host culture. Regular one-on-one meetings with language partners for conversational practice and accommodations with host families further integrate participants into the linguistic and cultural life of Ufa.Learn more about Bashkir State Pedagogical University (BSPU) (in Russian).
In 2010, the CLS Program adopted the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) as an additional measure of the effectiveness and quality of the institutes overseas. Before the program, students take a diagnostic OPI test; at the end of their 8-week course of study, they take an ACTFL-certified post-program OPI assessment. The scores on these tests give students a concrete, widely-recognized measure of their speaking skills in Russian.
CLS Blog Entries for Russian
Institute at a Glance: Ufa, Russia
|June 16 - August 17, 2013||Bashkir State Pedagogical University (BSPU)|
- Intermediate: Minimum requirement: completion of two years of college-level Russian, or its equivalent, prior to the start of the program.
- Advanced: Minimum requirement: completion of three years of college-level Russian, or its equivalent, prior to the start of the program.
In 2011, students were invited to the restaurant "Moroshka" in Ufa to learn the fine art of preparing pel’meny—Russian dumplings filled with meat, vegetables, or potatoes. Participants relied on their Russian and worked with a local chef to prepare the dough, assemble the fillings, and cook the pel’meny to perfection. Check out photos here.
Hannah Doughty (CLS Ufa 2012) returned to Russia after the CLS Program to study in St. Petersburg with CIEE. In addition to classes, Hannah is teaching English and has found time to continue exploring, including visiting Veliki-Novgorod, Kyiv, and Moscow.
Jacob Lassin (CLS Ufa 2011) returned to Ufa this year on a Boren Scholarship. He is interning at a local television station and continuing to study Russian at Bashkir State Pedagogical University. Afterwards, he plans to begin a Ph.D. program in Slavic literature and Culture at Yale University. This past summer, Jacob’s senior thesis gained international attention when Evgeny Morozov, a visiting scholar at Stanford University, and Edward Lucas, international editor of the Economist, tweeted about it. Shortly afterwards, a story appeared on Radio Free Europe. Read more about his thesis.
Harry Leeds (CLS Ufa 2012) is teaching English and pursuing freelance translation work in Kazan, Russia. While in Ufa, Harry and CLS participant Lisa Gulya were interviewed on a local news program about their study of Russian and experiences in Russia.
Julian Waller (CLS Ufa 2012) is studying Russian at the Herzen State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg. In spring, he will return to The George Washington University to write his senior thesis and complete his last semester.
Alexander Melin (CLS Ufa 2012) is continuing his law studies at the University of Kansas, and has received a FLAS Fellowship to study Ukrainian.
During the 2011 CLS institute in Ufa, Russia, Alissa Davis and several of her classmates found time outside of class, homework, and interacting with peer tutors and host families to give back to the local community. With help from one of her instructors at BSPU, Alissa and her classmates arranged to volunteer at the “Indigo” Ufa Child Development Center, "Индиго" городской центр психолого-медико-социального сопровождения. The children at this shelter ranged in age from 5 through 15. Alissa and her classmates spent time leading an art project, playing games, and interacting both with the children and the workers at the shelter. While they enjoyed talking with the children, Alissa noted that most were quite shy. “The workers there were much more inquisitive and asked many more questions than the kids. In addition to wondering what state I was from, they asked me why I was in Ufa, how long I'd be there, what I was studying, what I wanted to do after I graduated, what my experiences were like working in similar organizations in the U.S., etc.”
Alissa has proven dedicated to working with NGOs in Russia, and her initiative allowed her and her classmates to identify and pursue this volunteer activity in Ufa. During Alissa’s participation in the CLS Program in Astrakhan in 2009, she completed an internship at an NGO working with homeless children and victims of human trafficking. Alissa is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in International Relations with a certificate in Civil Society Organizations at Syracuse University. She ultimately hopes to earn a Doctorate in public policy, and continue to work with NGOs to advance the cause of human rights.