John Tolley, September 19, 2018

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With the launch of a new Russian Language Flagship program, select students at Indiana University will not have to rely on glitchy, imperfect online translations (like a certain LiveBIG editor with next-to-no language aptitude.)

The two-year, $600,000 program is awarded by the Department of Defense as part of the larger National Security Education Program, which seeks to foster a new generation of globally-minded, culturally-cognizant and language-proficient political and business leaders who will represent American interests abroad.

Speaking with the IU News Service, Russell Valentino, associate dean for diversity and inclusion and international affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences, noted that language and cultural training, such as what the flagship offers, is an imperative in higher education.

"We must continue to train graduates who can thrive in a diverse and globally connected world," said Valentino. "IU has invested seriously in faculty who can train our students to achieve high levels of foreign language proficiency. Partnering with the Language Flagship gives us another dimension in our curricular options and highlights the degree to which foreign language and area education have long been key strengths of this institution."

Students enrolled in the program, who come from myriad academic disciplines, will receive accelerated individualized language training along with extensive opportunities to live, study and take part in internships abroad. They complete their studies with a trip to Almaty, Kazakhstan, a rich melting pot of Russian and Eurasian cultures.

Indiana University is home to the largest number of Language Flagships, with the newly added Russian program joining programs in Chinese, Arabic and Turkish.