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Students Get a Taste of Russian Culture Through Russian Language Institute

July 25, 2022

On Thursday, July 22, the delicious smell of borscht filled the SGA Kitchen as Cori Anderson, an instructor with the Russian Language Institute led students through a cooking demonstration. 

The Russian Language Institute (RLI) is an intensive eight-week language and cultural immersion program that has been running every summer at Bryn Mawr since 1977. The program is open to the public and attracts students of all ages and academic fields. During the eight weeks, students complete the equivalent of an academic year of college-level intensive Russian. This is possible due to the high level of course work and the numerous cultural immersion activities that the program provides. Students watch Russian movies, talk with each other in Russian through afternoon tea, hear from speakers in the program’s Russian guest lecture series, and attend cooking demonstrations like the one held on Thursday.

A virtual student made this borscht from her home in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The program has traditionally been hosted on campus, but this is the third year the program is offering a virtual option.

Of the eighteen members of this year’s program, two-thirds of the students have been attending virtually, and one-third have been staying on campus. So on Thursday, a small group of students huddled around the SGA Kitchen to watch Anderson make borscht, while another group watched on Zoom and cooked along in their respective homes.

Borscht is a hearty vegetable soup enjoyed across many countries in Eastern Europe, and has a distinctive red color from its star ingredient—beets.

Students will continue on in the program until August 3, and the applications for RLI 2023 will open in the fall. You can learn more about the RLI program and its history online.

 Russian Language Institute



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