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The Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies (GIRS) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) enables students with advanced Russian language skills to professionalize their interest in Eurasia. It provides experiential learning and international opportunities for students interested in careers in policymaking, NGOs, and global business.

GIRS combines elements of a traditional Russian language program with unprecedented opportunities to learn from and collaborate with experts and scholars from Russia, to engage in hands-on scholarship using primary sources, and to develop language skills within the context of students’ broader academic interests.  The Initiative comprises four main components:

The future of U.S. – Russian relations depends to a great extent upon mutual understanding of each other’s concerns and priorities. It is imperative that the next generation of U.S. specialists on Russia and Eurasia learn not only from Western discourse but directly from leading experts on Russia and Eurasia from the Russian Federation and other post-Soviet states. The Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies represents an important step in providing this educational opportunity.


Dr. Anna Vassilieva

Director of the Institute’s Russian Studies program, the Founder and Director of the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies.

The Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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