First Year Program - Russian and Eurasian Studies Skip Navigation

Russian and Eurasian Studies (REST)

Chair: J. Graybill

Russian and Eurasian studies (REST) is a multifaceted discipline that aims to give students an understanding of this vital region’s history, politics, environment, and culture, along with proficiency in the Russian language. Students can choose among courses in literary and cultural studies, anthropology, history, geography, Jewish studies, environmental studies, and political science, taking advantage of Colgate's unusual array of Russian specialists in these diverse areas. Prospective majors, and those with an interest in Russian language, should begin REST 121 as soon as possible. The major requires a minimum of two years of language. Students who continue into advanced Russian are encouraged to spend a semester in Russia on one of Colgate's approved programs. Courses throughout the curriculum are interdisciplinary and culminate in a senior seminar in which majors pursue a thesis or advanced research topics in a collaborative environment. Many of our students choose to combine Russian and Eurasian studies with a second major or minor in history, political science, international relations and other fields. Recent graduates have found work in government, journalism, law, NGOs, education, finance, and many other fields; some have gone to the Peace Corps, and a significant number have pursued graduate study.


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REST 121, Elementary Russian I
Combines an overview of Russian grammar with an intensive emphasis upon classroom communication and the development of oral skills. In addition to the textbook, students make use of an array of web-based materials ranging from interviews with contemporary Russians, to YouTube videos, to cartoons in order to provide students with a sense for life in Russia today, as well to facilitate rapid acquisition of the language. Students cover the fundamentals of Russian grammar, learn a great deal of vocabulary, and should be able to converse effectively in a variety of everyday situations in Russian.

REST 201, Intermediate Russian I
Complete the presentation of the fundamentals of the language and focus upon further vocabulary acquisition and developing more advanced conversation and writing skills, as well as real-life Russian in context. Students work through digitized segments of a beloved romantic comedy, The Irony of Fate to greater understand cultural commentary and develop transcription skills.