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What it comes down to is the undeniable existence of 'Russianness.'
There are certain features that make this place, these people, this life unique to no end.
It's certainly not the West but it's also not the East.
Instead, it's some crazy, unpredictable, well-intended, bundle of life — still stuck behind in advancement but so much further in the embracement of humanity and happiness.
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Academics: semester & yearThe semester and academic year curriculum offers courses and independent study. Courses and independent study are offered at Moscow State University (MSU). Students can enroll in a maximum of 19 credits per semester. The Russian Studies Seminar is required. Russian language courses are recommended and taught intensively for a total of 9 credits (may be expanded to 15 credits with permission from KEI). All other courses are 3 credits. This page lists Russian language and elective courses taught in English. Students with advanced language proficiency can also enroll in courses taught in Russian (contact KEI for course list). Click on a course title to view the description and download syllabus.
Russian Language & CultureRussian Language courses are taught using the immersion method. In general, 3 to 4 modules (Grammar, Conversation, Reading/Writing and Phonetics/Listening) make up each Russian Language course. Classes are held every day, Monday through Friday (and possibly on Saturday). Students take an evaluation exam at the start of the program to determine level of proficiency and course placement. RUS 101 Beginner Russian Language
This course aims to build skills of oral and written communication. Students learn lexical, grammatical, phonetic and orthographic rules of Russian language. The course covers the following grammatical categories: gender, number and case of nouns, adjectives and pronouns (personal, possessive and demonstrative), conjugation, time and core values of types of verbs, verbs of motion, the syntactic structure of the elementary level. At the end of the course students will be able to communicate in a limited number of situations in everyday life, social, cultural, and educational spheres of communication, using the grammar of the elementary level. This course is for students with no prior study of Russian language. Beginner Russian Language consists of four modules - Grammar, Phonetics, Listening and Reading. The modules are designed to reinforce each other. Each module may be taught by a different professor. 9 credits.
Prerequisites: none RUS 102 Elementary Russian Language
The objective of this module is to introduce grammatical and lexical material corresponding to the elementary level, and build skills of oral and communication. The course covers the following grammatical categories: plagues new values, new pretexts species-temporal features of verbs, intransitive verbs of motion and transition without prefixes and with prefixes, comparative (complex and simple) and excellent (complex and simple) of adjectives and adverbs, gerunds and participial momentum, syntax, corresponding to the elementary level. Upon completion of the course, students reach elementary (full) level of proficiency that allows them to meet their communication needs in a limited number of situations in everyday social and cultural spheres. This course is for students with no prior study of Russian language. Beginner Russian Language consists of four modules - Grammar, Phonetics, Listening and Reading. The modules are designed to reinforce each other. Each module may be taught by a different professor. 9 credits.
Prerequisites: RUS 101 or equivalent RUS 201 Pre-Intermediate Russian Language
This course is for students with elementary proficiency with Russian language. Pre-Intermediate Russian Language consists of three modules - Grammar & Vocabulary, Reading & Writing, and Conversation. The modules are designed to reinforce each other. Each module may be taught by a different professor. 9 credits
Prerequisites: RUS 102 or equivalent RUS 202 Intermediate Russian Language
This course is a continuation of the RUS 201 Pre-Intermediate Russian Language or similar. Intermediate Russian Language consists of four modules - Grammar & Vocabulary, Reading & Writing, Conversation, Russian Cities & Culture. A TORFL Preparation is also offered as an optional module. The modules are designed to reinforce each other. Each module may be taught by a different professor. 9 credits
Prerequisites: RUS 201 or equivalent RUS 303 Upper-Intermediate Russian Language
This course is a continuation of the RUS 202 or similar. Upper-Intermediate Russian Language consists of 3 required and 2 optional modules - Conversation, Reading, Writing, Listening & Comprehension, and Grammar. An optional TORFL Preparation module is also offered. The modules are designed to reinforce each other. Each module may be taught by a different professor. 9 credits
Prerequisites: RUS 202 or equivalent RUS 404 Advanced Russian Language
This course is a continuation of the RUS 303 or similar. Advanced Russian Language consists of 7 to 9 modules - Grammar, Conversation/Speaking, Listening & Comprehension, Reading, Writing, Intercultural Communication, Cinema Language, Mass Media Language (Spring only), and/or Professional Applications (Business Russian). The modules are designed to reinforce each other. Each module may be taught by a different professor. 9 credits.
Prerequisites: RUS 303 or equivalent ART/LIT/SOC/HIS/POL/ECO 381 Russian Studies Seminar (Required)
A survey course of Russian society and culture. The course objective is to understand the development of the Russian culture over the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
3 credits. Prerequisites: none LIT 223 Russian Literature
A survey of 19th century through contemporary Russian literature, including major works by Pushkin, Lermontov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Babel, Olesha and Zamiatin. Along with issues of narrative technique and style, the course also deals with some of the central questions of the Russian literary tradition: Russia's relation to the East and West, the problem of the "superfluous man," the generation gap between "fathers and sons," the nature of the "moral life," the feasibility of radical social change, issues of the "new man" and "new woman," the role of the intellectual in the "new world."
3 credits. Prerequisites: none ART 266 Russian Art
Examination of the art of Russia, from icons of the 12th century to contemporary art. Particular attention is given to understanding this art in its cultural and historical context and to the elucidation of the Russian tradition as a part of European art history. Artists discussed include Rublev, Repin, Petrov-Vodkin, Malevich, and Goncharova.
3 credits. Prerequisites: none COM 340 Mass Media in Russia
This course deals with media landscape in Russia, and tackles all the variety of media-related topics in the area, beginning with a historic overview to the present day situation. It offers an in-depth analysis of how the main mass media - press, radio, television and Internet - are functioning in modern Russia, focusing on the most challenging media topics, such as politics, international relations, ethnic conflicts, and other intensively covered themes. The course is structured in such a way that students can combine the basic theories of media studies with practical analysis of the information space in modern Russia. Special attention is given to the comparative study of media images and representations of Russia and the United States in mass media of both countries. The students are also encouraged to search for and discuss politically, socially and culturally sensitive topics that are being covered by the Russian media during the period under study.
3 credits. Prerequisites: none HIS 371 Russian History
Russian history is a long story about the struggles of the Russian people to create a state that clearly represents the objectives of all the people not simply a small group that is privileged. From tsarist times through the Soviet period and to the present day Russian history is complicated. Historians for two generations asked "Why Revolution?", "Why Lenin?", "Why Stalin?" and wrote volumes on those subjects. Russian history is much more than leaders and their personalities. The Russian people have been resilient through centuries of chaos, wars, famines and revolution. It is a history rich in culture and texture far different from America's. Russian history is a complex story that has been greatly debated and contested in the west for the past fifty years. We will sample the different interpretations, primary documents and some literature to discuss the evolution of Russia in the twentieth century. Come with enthusiasm and all will be well.
3 credits. Prerequisites: none XXX 420 Independent Study with Faculty
Students conduct independent research projects under the supervision of MSU faculty. Emphasis is placed on inquiry-based learning and report writing.
1-3 credits, depending on time commitment. Prerequisites: none
Business, Law & DiplomacyBUS/ECO/POL 342 Political Economy of Russia
This course introduces students to the political economy of Russia, and to a lesser extent, of the other states of the ex-Soviet Union. "Political economy" refers to a strongly interactive process of economic factors driving political decision-making, and political decision-making determining the development of national economic factors. The course begins with an examination of the Command-Administrative Economy of the USSR and an analysis of its structure. Building on this, it proceeds to an examination of perestroika. The major portion of the course is an examination of the policies of the post-Soviet government with a focus on current policies.
3 credits. Prerequisites: none BUS/ECO 534 Russian Business Practice
This course examines economic, political, cultural and demographic conditions and trends that influence business practices and investments in Russia. The course will identify issues managers face in developing countries in key business areas, including finance, marketing, personnel management and organization, production and governmental relations.
3 credits. Prerequisites: none POL 335 Russian Political System
This course provides an overview of contemporary Russian politics and government. Students will explore Russia's main political and legal structures; learn about economic reforms and challenges, as well as domestic and foreign policy. The first part of the course (three lectures) provides a brief survey of Russian Imperial and Soviet history and introduces historical legacies that play an important role in Russian politics today. In the second part of the course we will explore in depth contemporary Russia's political, economic and legal structures and challenges as well as the country's efforts to find its new place in the world.
3 credits. Prerequisites: none POL 435 Legal Structure in Russia
The goal of this course is to provide an understanding of Russia's current legal and political system. Topics include the influence of poverty and wealth on the legal and political system, rise of capitalism and its effect on politics, legal and political reforms under the Gorbachev, Yeltzen and Putin administrations, and intellectual property rights.
3 credits. Prerequisites: none
Internships & community serviceInternships (for-credit) and community service (not-for-credit) allow students to learn from practical experience not attainable in a classroom setting. Internships require a commitment of 120-240 hours (36 credits). Service does not have a minimum requirement. Placement is based on availability and professional interests. Previous placements include Kremlin Hospital, Expedition Ltd., Niola Press, World Youth Alliance, Shalemch & Gonchurov Group and Center for Interethnic Cooperation. Actual placement may be with a different organization. Positions are available in business, law and humanitarian aid. Due to the economic recession in Russia, many organizations are unable to accept interns. Although KEI will make every effort to secure an internship, placement cannot be guaranteed.
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