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A core component of the Flagship program is its summer and year-long study abroad programs. Through intensive language coursework, homestays and local excursions, students make rapid advances in their linguistic abilities and gain a nuanced cultural understanding of a new country.

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Summer Abroad

UCLA Russian Flagship students spend one summer (8 weeks) in a Russian-speaking country, typically the summer after they have completed third year Russian. The summer program is optional for Flagship students, but mandatory if they wish to attend the year-long capstone program in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Its primary purpose is to enhance students’ Russian language proficiency and introduce them to life in a Russian speaking country, to ensure that they can commit to a year-long program. It is also a fun and rewarding experience.


Russian Language and Area Studies Program

The majority of our students participate in the RLASP program, which is administered by the American Councils for Teachers of Russian. While the program is offered in Armenia and Kazakhstan, students are only eligible for the Flagship scholarship if they attend the program in Kazakhstan.


Critical Language Scholarship (CLS)

Students can apply to the CLS program to spend a summer in Tblisi, Georgia or Bishkek, Kyrgystan. While abroad, students participate in intensive education programs, taking courses instructed entirely in Russian and attending excursions to national landmarks. The program includes cultural activities programs such as cooking, singing and dancing, with the exact curriculum determined by the hosting institution. Students live with host families to experience complete cultural immersion.




Capstone Year Abroad

The capstone program is a 9-month immersive overseas experience for undergraduate students in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It was moved from St. Petersburg, Russia in 2014 because of the Russian annexation of Crimea. The program is administered by American Councils for International Education.

Studying Russian in Kazakhstan gives students unique insight into the diversity of the Russian-speaking world. Ninety-seven percent of the Kazakhstani population is fluent in Russian. Almaty provides a fully immersive Russian language environment while unlocking a traditionally understudied region of the world, Central Asia.

A core component of the capstone program is an internship with an organization of the student’s choice in Almaty in the spring semester. The program has a designated internship coordinator to help students find an internship that matches their career interests. For more information, see the Internships page.



  • Study abroad in a Russian-speaking country for one summer 
  • Complete domestic flagship coursework
  • Meet Russian proficiency requirements


Program components: 

  • 20-25 hours a week of small group language instruction
  • Individualized tutorials
  • Conversation partners
  • Content-based elective courses
  • Home stays with russian-speaking families
  • Internships with organizations in Almaty
  • Bi-weekly excursions, including overnight trips


How to apply: 

  • The UCLA Flagship advisor will work with you to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements. Once you meet the requirements, you will receive an email with an application link from the American Councils representative.
  • The application opens in the fall and is due in January.


Useful Link

American Councils for International Education



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