Nikita Sandstrom ’23Russian and Eastern European Studies Major
Posted on March 24th, 2023 by

“The language classes are a well-balanced mix of academic and modern terms so while you can understand the base, there are modern terms mixed in so a student such as I can hold conversations and navigate a modern Eastern Europe.”

As someone who is half Ukrainian and grew up speaking Russian and Ukrainian, Nikita decided to pursue a major in Russian and Eastern European Studies to refine his skills of the Russian language and to feel better connected to the Eastern European community and culture.

Nikita recognizes that the Modern Languages, Literature and Cultures Department is very accommodating to all students, whether they have a background in the language and culture or not. He points to Professor Annalise Rivas as a faculty member within the department that provides support for the students within the Russian and Eastern European Studies major. He says, “She is extremely helpful with students that have trouble with certain topics, and she makes sure to check in with each of her students to see how they are doing academically and personally.”

Nikita feels that the coursework within the department is valuable and prepares students for future careers and life experiences. “[The faculty] have made sure I am ready in my future career by making sure that the coursework is useful and pertains to what I am planning for in the future.”

One aspect of the major that fosters a community-based environment for Nikita is the Russian and Eastern European Studies Club, which is sponsored by the MLLC Department. The program hosts meetings that foster discussion between students within the department. Nikita says, “All who are in the program show up to club meets, enjoy tea and pastries, and are able to discuss with their cohort, build up the comradery, and keep a tight-knit community.”

In addition to being the President of the Russian and Eastern European Studies Club, Nikita is also part of the Uhler/Rundstrom Hall Council and a member of the Chess Club.


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