The Russian Overseas Flagship Program is located in Almaty, Kazakhstan. This program is intended as a logical step after participating in the Stateside Russian Flagship Program and achieving a proficiency level of ILR 2.
The yearlong program at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University consists of daily private tutorials and intensive small-group instruction. In the fall semester, participants also take direct enrollment courses in their fields of specialization. In the spring semester, specialization courses give way to substantial internships in each participant's field of interest with organizations where Russian serves as the principal language of professional communication. Participants are expected to master professional discourse and registers sufficient for a broad range of communicative functions such as negotiation, presentations, impromptu interpretation, and representation of the host organization in a range of venues. Additional program components include homestays with local families, peer-tutors, bi-weekly excursions, and cultural events.
All participants in the Russian Overseas Flagship program live with Russian-speaking host families. The vast majority of former participants report that the experience of living with a local family offers a deep level of cultural enrichment and complements the academic program in a positive way. American Councils finds experienced local families to host students for the duration of their stay and will accommodate student preferences as much as possible. Families are chosen through a careful selection process, and the Homestay Coordinator tries to match students with families who share common interests. Upon acceptance to the program, students will complete a “Host Family Preference Form” which is very important in making a good match. Every effort will be made to find host families who live within a short walking distance to the university; nevertheless, you should be prepared to use public transportation on a daily basis.
ROF Participants also have the option to meet weekly with peer tutors, or "говоруны," who are also students in KazNU, studying in the philological faculty or other departments in the humanities, social and natural sciences. Peer tutors often meet with ROF participants for tea or coffee, and enjoy showing them around their favorite spots in Almaty.
Excursions and Cultural Events
In addition to the academic component, ROF students enjoy a wide range of cultural excursions, from bi-weekly trips to the theater, opera, to the Almaty museum of folk instruments, and the movies. Throughout the course of the academic year there are also several overnight trips, including to Kolsay and Kaindy lakes south of Almaty, to Astana, Kazakhstan's capital city in the north.