The Slavic Club informed students about the Russian and Eastern Studies certificate at a meeting on Sept. 27.
Dr. Maxim Matusevich, the program director of the Russian and East European Studies program, explained the program and its benefits.
According to its website, the program gives students an interdisciplinary training that will prepare them to pursue a lifelong career involving the region and culture of the subject.
McKinley Brock, a junior modern languages and philosophy major, said she enjoys the passion that is brought to the classroom. “It’s a great way to meet people who share a passion for languages,” Brock said. “Because language classes need to be leveled carefully, they don’t often foster this sort of interaction.”
Although she is exposed to people who share the same passion as her, Brock said she has a very distinct objective in earning her certificate.
“Fingers crossed, I’d like to be fluent in Russian before I graduate,” she said.
According to the program website, to earn a certificate, students must complete 12 credits in Russian language (or a proficiency examination in another language of Eastern Europe), 15 credits in area courses and a three-credit program essay.
“I would love to use my minor to connect with people from that part of the world,” Santiago Losada, a senior diplomacy, modern languages and economics major said. Losada who is the president of the Slavic Club, said he is attempting to earn the Russian and East European Studies certificate.
“Eastern Europe is still making that transition from the East to the West, and because of that, there is a lot of focus on that part of Europe,” Losada said. “The future is there.”
Losada said that countries are still making the transition of leaving a culture that saw them trapped behind the Iron Curtain and into a more global front. This will open up more opportunities for economic and cultural growth, he said.
Losada explained that being a part of the Slavic Club is also beneficial to those who are looking to sharpen their Russian language skills. “Every year we take a trip to Brighton Beach, where there is the highest density of Russian speakers in North America,” he said. “I had an opportunity to practice my Russian there.”
Several students at the meeting discussed their travels and presented slideshows of the places to which they traveled.
Annika Springsteel, a sophomore diplomacy major and secretary of the Slavic Club, shared her experience traveling to Finland this last summer. Springsteel, a native of Finland, said she enjoys seeing people at the club have the desire to learn about the different cultures.
“There are so many people who come each week that want to learn about Slavic culture, and I think that’s great,” Springsteel said. “It is a really big community, and everyone who comes in enjoys learning about the culture.”
Losada said that this sense of community is what drew him into Slavic Club, which is where he found a home. “My family is Spanish, so I grew up with that culture,” Losada said. “Coming into Seton Hall, I wanted something new and exotic. When I came to college, I found this.”
Dalton Allison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.