Julia Diamond – New Ways of Thinking and Understanding (Russian)

All Student Stories, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies

Story written by Julia Diamond, NPTS, ’17

For me, Russian language has been a key to answering many questions about the relationship between Russian and Soviet societies and their domestic and foreign policies. Aside from always having a Russian gymnastics coach and ballet teachers, I became especially motivated to learn Russian after participating in a Russian ballet summer intensive in 2009. While we found ways to communicate, I always wanted to be able to understand and speak their language to discover what to me were secrets of their culture and outlook.

Matt Levie – Not a Spy, Not James Bond: It’s about making connections (Russian)

All Student Stories, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies

Story by Matt Levie, MPA, ’18

When I was young, every day after school I would take the bus all the way across New York City to the Mid-Manhattan Library downtown, because on the third floor they had language textbooks. At my school there was a pretty good language program; you could learn French, Spanish, German or Latin, but I was fascinated by exotic languages that people don’t usually learn in American schools. I dabbled in Romanian, Welsh, Japanese, Swahili and Russian.

Kathryn Smart – Learning the Local Language to Learn the Culture (Russian, Chechen)

All Student Stories, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies

Story written by Kathryn Smart, NPTS, ’17

While living in Chechnya, it was common for me to be walking down the street and suddenly hear deep voices yelling something in my direction. Sometimes it was someone asking for directions or yelling at me for breaking social norms.

Kuanysh Agaidarov – English here and now and in the future (English, Russian, Kazakh)

All Student Stories, International Policy and Development

Story taken from interview with Kuanysh Agaidarov, IPD, ’18; Written by K. Throgmorton

Growing up in Kazakhstan, most of Kuanysh’s language learning happened in university, supplemented by his study in the English as a Second Language program at the Institute last year. He grew up speaking Kazakh and Russian, his studies at school and university were also in Kazakh and Russian; as a result, he has a strong command of those languages.