Founded in 1977, the Russian Language Institute (RLI) at Bryn Mawr seeks to support the study and teaching of Russian in the United States by providing an intensive-immersion setting for both teachers and learners of the language. RLI offers both four- and eight-week programs* for male and female high school**, undergraduate, and graduate students. All courses focus on language training at the college level.
The eight-week Russian Language Institute offers a highly-focused curriculum and a study environment conducive to the rapid development of the four language skills (oral, aural, writing, reading) as well as cultural awareness. The program draws participants from a broad spectrum of academic fields, occupations, ages, and interests. Course offerings are designed to accommodate a full range of language learners, from the beginner to the advanced learner (three levels total). The highly intensive nature of the course work and the culturally-rich immersion environment have proven very successful in providing the equivalent of an academic year of college Russian to participants who complete the full eight weeks.
Through RLI, Bryn Mawr was one of the first American institutions in the United States to establish an ongoing cooperative exchange agreement with the Pushkin Institute of the Russian Language in Moscow. The agreement covered exchanges of students, faculty, and teaching materials, some of which are still used in the summer programs. While Bryn Mawr today cooperates with several other institutions in Russia, through the College's cooperative agreement with the American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR), it maintains its links to the Pushkin Institute.
Most recently, the Department of Russian and the Russian Language Institute at Bryn Mawr College have been designated as Domestic Russian Language Flagship Program. The Language Flagship was created under the auspices of the National Security Education Program (NSEP)/National Flagship Language Program (NFLP) to address the critical need for U.S. professionals to use Russian at the highest levels of functional proficiency. The program is an intensive language training program tailored to students' professional interests and academic specialization. Students at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, or Swarthmore Colleges who have already completed one year of Russian and signed a Russian Language Flagship statement of agreement can apply to RLI as a Flagship student. For more infomation on the Russian Language Flagship at Bryn Mawr, please see the web site.
*Students wishing to enroll in the four-week program must enroll in the first four-week session. The second four-week session is a continuation of the first four-week session. Those who wish to enroll in the second four-week session must have prior approval from the program's academic coordinator.
**High school students must be 16 years of age or older.