Cultural and Language Immersion Activities
The Russian Language Institute offers a variety of extracurricular activities designed to enhance the language skills being learned in the classroom. Activities may include a guest lecture series, screenings of Russian and Soviet films, folk singing and dancing, and field trips.
Guest Lecture Series
The guest lecture series covers a broad range of interests and enhances participants' cultural awareness. Past lectures have included topics on Russian politics, literature, music, folklore, history, and Russian Orthodoxy.
In the past, participants have had the opportunity to take field trips to Russian concerts, Russian Orthodox churches, the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, the Russian section in Northeast Philadelphia, and to Brighton Beach, N.Y. (a Russian immigrant community). Depending on costs, an additional fee may be charged for field trips.
Films are shown regularly. Films are used as part of class assignments to strengthen listening skills, increase vocabulary, and promote cultural awareness.
Russian Folk Singing
This activity is for anyone interested in Russian folk, gypsy, bard and popular songs. Linguistically, Russian songs can expand vocabulary, improve pronunciation, increase speed in reading and increase recognition of and activate grammar learned in class. Russian songs also provide insight into many aspects of Russian culture and history.
At least once during the program, a kitchen on campus is reserved for the students and faculty to cook a Russian meal. In the past, the menu has included blini, borshch, pelmeni, and pirozhki.
Students and faculty gather daily during lunch to informally speak Russian outside the classroom.
Russian Culture Event
In the Russian tradition, each year at the close of the program students have a chance to showcase their talents. For the RLI Closing Ceremony, students have sang, read poetry, and produced plays such as Pushkin's The Stone Guest.
Other Cultural Events
In addition other miscellaneous cultural events occur weekly at RLI such as painting, scavenger hunts, karaoke, board games, and tea socials.