Russian Language and Literature Scholarships

Uncle Sam Wants You to Learn Russian

Learning another language is beneficial no matter which major or career someone might choose. Russian is one of the most spoken languages in the world and offers students a gateway to studying abroad in Eastern Europe. Many choose to major in Russian as a supplement to another major. By doing so, they give themselves an advantage when entering the workforce. Whether your desired field is international business, medicine, teaching, or any number of other paths, having another language in your back-pocket can set you apart from the rest of the crowd.

The Critical Language Scholarship program is an organization run by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs which offers summer studies abroad to students. Russian is 1 of 13 languages deemed as ”critical” by the government as they want to expand the number of American students studying in other nations. Those accepted undergo about 5 hours of learning a language each day, 5 days a week. This equates to a full year of learning a language in any university!

russian language scholarships

Scholarship Programs

National Security Education Program

The David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarship program gives funding to those students wishing to learn another language by studying abroad. Students are free to choose a study abroad program that will provide them with the opportunity to increase his or her proficiency in a foreign language. Students are given the opportunity to live with people either in a dorm or a local family’s home and immerse themselves in another language.

Scholarship recipients are obligated to work for the Federal Government after graduation instead of making a monetary payment to repay their debts. Another option for required service is employment in the national intelligence field. Those who received a scholarship and have completeled their study abroad program are expected to use their knowledge of the language in their employment with the government.

Graduate fellowships are also available under the NSEP. Boren Fellowships funds can be used for study abroad, study in the United States, or a combination of both. As in the case of the undergraduate scholarship program, Boren Fellows are expected to provide service to the U.S. government after completing their studies.

The College of William and Mary

The college of William & Mary offers curriculums which allow students the opportunity to study abroad. One program allows an undergraduate to live in Russia for 4 full school-years while learning to speak the language fluently. They also have summer studies in which students endure a rigorous 6 week program. They have numerous scholarships to aid students who lack the finances to study abroad.

The Dobro Slovo Scholarship Fund gives direct support to students who have excelled in the study of Slavic languages, literature and history to study at St. Petersburg University for a summer. The course covers the culture and literature of St. Petersburg while giving the students every opportunity to become more fluent in Russian. The Zachary James Vaughan Memorial Scholarship is given to one student who has financial need for the purpose of studying abroad. There are many more scholarships like these which can be viewed on William & Mary’s website.

Brandeis University, Waltham MA

Brandeis University is another institution which offers Russian Studies as a major. They encourage studying abroad in Russia to help really get an understanding of the language and the culture. To help those without the financial means to travel out of the country, they have set up scholarships such as the Alberta Gotthardt and Henry Strage International Scholarship and the Joel Friedland Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship for assistance.

The Sachar Undergraduate International Scholarship provides funding for needy students who wish to study abroad for a semester, a full academic year, or for a summer session. Students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are encouraged to apply. Between five and 10 students will receive financial assistance ranging from $500-$5,000 under this Program each year.


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