Following completion of the domestic program and after studying abroad in a Russian-speaking country for one summer, students are eligible to participate in the yearlong capstone portion of the Flagship program, depending on proficiency. To qualify for the yearlong program, students will take an exam in Russian during the last year in the domestic program to test their proficiency in reading, grammar, listening, and speaking.
Students who qualify will spend an academic school year at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan in an intensive language program. The program is administered by American Councils for International Education. During the capstone program students take courses taught entirely in Russian along with other Flagship students and an elective of their choice with other university students. Flagship students will be placed with host families who will house and feed the students throughout the year.
During the second semester of the program students participate in an internship, which is arranged through American Councils for International Education and takes into account student preferences and interests. The school year includes three longer breaks, during which students often travel back home or in Europe.
Graduates of the capstone program are prepared to enter the professional sphere with a high level of proficiency in Russian and a solid understanding of Russian culture, which is highly marketable to employers.
Furthermore, a year spent studying abroad is an experience not likely to be forgotten. Students value the capstone year both for its linguistic advantages and for the experience of personal growth that comes with becoming an independent individual in a foreign country.
Some financial aid is available for the yearlong program abroad, but available funds vary every year. Capstone-bound Flagship students are also eligible to apply for scholarships.