For mastery of any foreign language, there is no substitute for living in the country where it is spoken. Accordingly, REEES majors are encouraged to consider a summer, semester, or year abroad. There are opportunities to study in most of the states of the former Soviet Union, such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, as well as in East-Central Europe (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, etc.). The UO’s Study Abroad Program can help students apply for and arrange study abroad through a variety of programs. For information go to http://studyabroad.uoregon.edu or make an appointment to talk to an adviser at the UO Study Abroad Program, or talk with an instructor or professor in REEES.
REEES students may, in particular, want to consider Eugene’s sister city, Irkutsk, as a possible location for foreign study. Located in Siberia, near beautiful Lake Baikal, Irkutsk offers the attractions of a large city as well as proximity to wilderness (it has also been observed that students have an easier time socializing with Russians outside Moscow and St. Petersburg). In part because of these advantages, and in part because of its affordability and instructional quality, Russian Language Coordinator Yelaina Kripkov has frequently helped students make arrangements to study at the Irkutsk Linguistic University. Even without a formal UO-ILU exchange program, students can make arrangements themselves and simply apply for transfer credits.
Foreign study is important in a language program, but students cannot plan on getting a degree at UO with all of their courses in the major field taken somewhere else. REEES does allow you to count any language study toward the three years required for the major, as well as up to four other courses on Russian or Eastern European themes. Additional courses taken abroad cannot be counted for your major, but they should still count toward the total credits needed for graduation from UO.