During my time at Villanova I’ve been able to study a wide variety of topics and subjects. As a business major, most of my time would have been spent in Bartley Hall, studying accounting rules and regulations, commercial real estate cap rates, and business law, but my decision to enroll in the Russian Area Studies Concentration allowed me to go beyond business and learn more about the world around me. Through the RASCON program I was able to learn not only the language that I deeply wanted to understand, but also about religious beliefs of Russian people, the political foundations of what is now Putin’s government, and the history of Russia from long gone tsars to revolutionary icons like Lenin. My enrollment in this program has allowed me to meet amazing teachers and become completely immersed in a culture that not many people at Villanova get to experience on such a deep level. It gave me a chance to leave the Bartley Bubble and venture to a country far away with a culture and language not many people understand. Professor Борис Львович has had me as a student since I was a freshman just starting my journey at Villanova and I’ve just completed his final as my last ever exam at Villanova. The teachers in this program care deeply not only about the history and culture of Russia, but also about the students in this program. I’ve always felt comfortable coming to them for help or guidance on a particular topic.
As a result of this program I am now able to identify words or phrases from a Russian conversation or artifact in the media or in a movie. When people in job interviews asked what I was passionate about, they were deeply interested to hear about my involvement in the RASCON program and it was a fun connection when I discovered that one of my coworkers at my internship spoke Russian. I can now talk about the fall of the Russian tsarist system or about the famines endured by the people and feel like I have some knowledge of the subjects. But most importantly, I will take from this program the sense of community I have felt, with teachers and students, both in and out of the classroom.