Caroline Southworth ’24Russian and Eastern European Studies Major
Posted on March 10th, 2023 by

“Language learning helps me specialize in my studies of international relations and prepares me to live abroad.”

Caroline was drawn to a Russian and Eastern European Studies major due to a strong interest in international relations and security studies.

This major, along with her other individualized major in International Political Economics and Diplomacy, compliment each other in terms of their security implications. Caroline is also working towards a Russian language minor, saying, “Russian is a challenging language, and I love a good challenge.” Her interest in the Russian language was one of the primary reasons that she initially chose to go to Gustavus, seeing it as “a stepping stone to further graduate studies.”

Caroline greatly values the faculty within the Modern Languages, Literature, and Culture Department, especially in their understanding of the difficulty of the course material. Her most influential professor has been Professor Annalise Rivas, saying, “Every class and meeting with her is a chance to explore the complex relationships of language, literature, culture and history in modern contexts and applications.” She describes Rivas as “my biggest advocate, supporter and cheerleader” and someone who “inspires me to promote language learning as a means of connection and intercultural and international understanding.”

Caroline enjoys the ability within her department to incorporate many different aspects of language, culture and history into her studies. She describes a favorite class experience to be during a unit on food, eating and cooking in a Russian language course, in which students were able to prepare Russian dishes. She says, “It was a great time trying to describe our actions in Russian and use our new vocabulary, while also creating tasty treats for the celebration.”

The skills that Caroline has gained through the department have helped her in off-campus learning and experiences, including the State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship in Tbilisi, Georgia. This program was “a two month long immersive language learning summer program that sends students abroad to areas where the target language is spoken.”

In addition to her academic ambitions, on campus Caroline is also involved in the Eastern European Club and Model United Nations Club, is a student representative of the Curriculum Committee, and works in the Office of the Provost, Dining Services and as a Collegiate Fellow.


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