Why I Majored in Russian and Eastern European Studies

Alexander Assoufid ’26

I started to study Russian in high school because of my familial ties to the language and region. As I was applying to colleges, I wanted to continue studying Russian. My high school Russian teacher spoke highly of Pomona’s Russian Department. I sent a few emails to Prof. Larissa Rudova before coming to Pomona and I found her to be very welcoming and knew that the department would help me develop my language skills and cultural understanding of the region. And I was right!

Throughout my time in the Russian and Eastern European Studies Department, I have become extremely confident in my conversation and grammar skills. Additionally, the professors’ extensive knowledge of Russian media and literature have allowed me to better understand the cultural history of the region. Most importantly, from my very first year, I have found a strong community with both the students and the professors.

Alexandra Runnels ’25

I chose to learn a new language on a whim upon entering college, and I'm quite pleased with my choice. The Russian language is a bridge to many different treasure troves of knowledge that aren't available to monolingual English speakers. The faculty in the Russian Department are kind and encouraging, and they will teach you a new way of thinking about and interacting with the world. They will also support you if you choose to study abroad, as I did over the summer in Qazaqstan.

I enjoy the flexibility of the major, which affords you the opportunity to take politics, history, and culture classes. The students and language residents I've had the pleasure of interacting with have strengthened my Russian language skills and offered me a sense of community.

Boyang Liu ’23

I started taking classes at the Russian Department since my first year because I was interested in the history and politics of the Russian-speaking world. After four years, I’m confident to say that what the department has offered far exceeded my expectations. The always-helpful professors and extraordinary fellow students have made my journey fun and rewarding.